DUI & DMV Hearings
I Just Got Arrested For A DUI
A DUI arrest can significantly change your world. It can and, in most cases, will affect every aspect of your life. You have to realize from the very beginning that a battle has begun on two fronts: the criminal justice system, and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Although both avenues will take you on a ride with an uncertain outcome, how the journey ends may depend on how well you can navigate each course. There are rights to protect, arguments to be made, and strategic decisions to consider!
DMV vs. District Attorney
Your arrest triggered two actions: one by the court and one by the DMV. The DMV action is unique because of its time sensitivity. You only have 10 days from the service of the order of suspension to request a hearing. Think of this as 10 days from the date of the arrest. If you fail to request the hearing within 10 days, you WILL lose your license. The suspension will begin 30 days after the arrest date. It is extremely important to get proper advice and representation at the DMV hearing to preserve your driving privilege.
The District Attorney charges you with two different statutes: CA Vehicle Code sections 23152(a) and 23152(b). The first statute focuses on whether a driver was “under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs” to the extent that they are “unable to drive their car with the same caution characteristic of a sober person, of ordinary prudence, under the same or similar circumstances.” This is the legal standard for being considered under the influence of alcohol in California.
The second statute involves California’s Administrative Per Se Law, which focuses on whether a driver’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) was .08 percent or greater, at the time of the driving. This legal standard is based on the driver’s ability to absorb and eliminate alcohol.
If you suffered a prior DUI conviction or DMV action, the penalties and punishment will increase in both the court and DMV actions. Suffering a prior conviction in another state can result in increased penalties.
PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. Do your homework and educate yourself, but above all, ask questions and contact an attorney immediately.
5 Important Actions When Arrested for DUI
- DO NOT GIVE STATEMENTS ABOUT DRINKING PATTERN OR AMOUNT
- DO NOT DO THE FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS (They are optional)
- DO NOT BLOW IN THE PRELIMINARY BREATH TEST DEVICE (it is optional for age 21 and over)
- ASK FOR A BLOOD TEST, REPEATEDLY
- SEEK LEGAL REPRESENTATION