Driving in California is considered a legal privilege and responsibility, and without a valid driver’s license, it is against the law to drive on California roadways. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is responsible for registering motor vehicles and distributing driver’s licenses, but the agency also has the power to suspend or revoke your license under any number of circumstances. For example, in the state of California, a DUI arrest will automatically trigger a suspension of your driving privileges, before you even have a chance to defend yourself in criminal court. However, if you are arrested for a California DUI and your license is suspended as a result, you still have the right to request a DMV hearing to challenge the suspension, and having a knowledgeable Los Angeles attorney on your side to represent you at the hearing can help you avoid losing your license. If you are at risk for having your California license suspended or revoked, do not hesitate to contact an experienced DMV attorney. The sooner you hire an attorney to represent your case at your DMV hearing, the sooner you can get your license back and have your driving privileges reinstated.
Affordable DMV Hearing Attorney in Los Angeles
Most of us have only had to deal with the California DMV when renewing our driver’s license or registering a new vehicle. However, if you have been arrested for or charged with certain criminal offenses in Los Angeles, like driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the DMV will likely suspend or revoke your driving privileges, in which case you will be faced with defending yourself at a California DMV hearing. Our legal team at Criminal Defense Attorney Los Angeles understands how frustrating and confusing dealing with the DMV can be in the aftermath of a DUI arrest and we know how to effectively defend our clients against driver’s license suspensions in California. With our lawyers on your side, you can ensure that your legal rights are protected and significantly improve your chances of reaching a favorable conclusion to your DMV hearing. Contact our lawyers at Criminal Defense Attorney Los Angeles for help with any license suspension matter in Southern California.
As a society, we are so accustomed to having the freedom of getting behind the wheel and driving whenever we want, but if you have ever had your driver’s license suspended or revoked, you know how much more difficult and inconvenient your life can become in this case. Under California law, the DMV has the right to suspend or revoke the driver’s license of any person arrested for a criminal offense that warrants a license suspension on its own (such as a DUI), or of any person with a habit of engaging in unlawful and/or dangerous behavior. Situations that may result in a Los Angeles driver’s license suspension include the following:
- DUI arrests – If you are arrested for driving under the influence in Los Angeles, your license will automatically be suspended, even if your blood alcohol concentration is only 0.01%.
- Negligent operator suspensions – If you have too many points (citations for moving violations) on your license, you could be labeled a “negligent operator” and have your license suspended.
- Traffic accident resulting in death or serious injury – If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident where another person is seriously injured or killed, you could have your license suspended.
- Driver’s license suspension due to mental or physical conditions – If you are suspected of having a medical or mental condition that affects your ability to drive safely, you may be subjected to a re-exam to keep your license.
- Driver’s license fraud – If you are suspected of fraudulent activity in using or applying for a California driver’s license, you could end up having your license suspended or revoked.
- Medical suspension – If you have a medical condition that causes you to lose consciousness or control while driving, you could have your driving privileges suspended.
- Senior driver’s license suspension – If the DMV suspects that you lack the skill to drive due to age, you could lose your driving privileges.
- Driver’s license suspension because of no car insurance – If you fail to maintain liability insurance on your vehicle, you could have your license suspended by the DMV.
Suspended Driver’s License After a Los Angeles DUI Arrest
One of the most common reasons the DMV will suspend or revoke a person’s driver’s license in California is in response to a DUI arrest. The criminal penalties associated with a Los Angeles DUI conviction are severe, and even a first-time DUI offense, a misdemeanor under California law, results in immediate driver’s license suspension or revocation for six to 10 months. A felony DUI conviction in California, on the other hand, carries a license suspension or revocation for four years, among other life-changing criminal consequences. DUI convictions that fall under California’s “Three Strikes” sentencing law, which imposes more significant jail sentences and other penalties for certain repeat offenders convicted of serious or violent felonies, can result in a longer, or possibly even permanent, driver’s license revocation. If you have been arrested for a Los Angeles DUI and you want to contest your license suspension (and your DUI charges), you have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request an administrative hearing with the DMV. This DMV hearing is your only opportunity to challenge your driver’s license suspension, so it is imperative that you contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible following your DUI arrest.
How is a DMV Hearing Different from a Criminal Case?
A DMV hearing is part of any driving under the influence arrest in Los Angeles. If you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (Vehicle Code § 23152 (a) VC) or drugs (Vehicle Code § 23152 (e) VC) in Los Angeles, or for DUI causing injury or death (Vehicle Code § 23153 VC), the California DMV will try to suspend your driver’s license. In order to challenge a driver’s license suspension or revocation, you must contact the DMV and request an administrative hearing within 10 days of your DUI arrest to avoid an automatic suspension of your driver’s license. If you fail to do so, you essentially waive your right to a hearing and your driver’s license suspension will automatically go into effect in 30 days. Keep in mind that the DMV hearing is an administrative proceeding involving the suspension or revocation of your driving privileges only, and will therefore be separate from your criminal DUI case. However, your DMV hearing is just as important as your criminal case, and if you have been arrested for a DUI offense in California, you will need to hire a reputable Los Angeles defense attorney with experience defending clients against DUI charges to help you with both the criminal side of your case and your DMV hearing.
How Does a DMV Hearing Work?
When you are arrested for drunk driving in California, the arresting officer with take your license and provide you with a “Notice of Suspension, which acts as temporary license that is good for only 30 days. The notice also lets you know that you are entitled to a DMV hearing to prevent a loss of driving privileges. During a California DMV hearing, the hearing officer assigned to your case will gather the necessary information pertaining to your arrest and subsequent license suspension and take into consideration the evidence presented by your attorney in order to make a decision about your driving privileges. An experienced DMV hearing attorney can help you schedule this DMV hearing, prepare the necessary evidence in your defense, and represent you at the hearing, where he or she will present testimony and relevant evidence on your behalf to show that a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license is unwarranted. If the win your hearing and the hearing officer sets aside the action, your driver’s license will be returned and your driving privileges will remain intact.
Hiring a Knowledgeable DMV Attorney in Los Angeles
Driving in California is a privilege, not a right, and even a minor infraction can result in a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, significant fines, and possibly even time in jail, depending on the facts of your case. Having your California driver’s license suspended can have a significant adverse impact on your daily life, making it difficult to get to work on time, pick your kids up from school, go grocery shopping, or perform other simple, everyday tasks. In some cases, losing your license could even cost you your job or prevent you from seeing your kids as often as you want, if you share custody. Unfortunately, thousands of California drivers have their licenses suspended by the DMV every year. If you are facing a driver’s license suspension or revocation in California, our defense team at Criminal Defense Attorney Los Angeles can help. Whatever the circumstances of your case, we are committed to representing our clients in an aggressive and professional manner, and we will ensure that you understand the charges against you, so you can make educated decisions about your future on your own.