If you have been arrested in California for a DUI you may face both a criminal court case within the court system and an administrative case within the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If you have been arrested you will have 10 days to contact the California DMV and request an Administrative Hearing.
Failure to contact the DMV and request an Administrative Hearing will result in an immediate license suspension. If, however, you request an Administrative Hearing you can continue to drive until you have had your DMV hearing and the court has made a decision about your DUI license suspension.
Will I win my California DMV Administrative Hearing?
There are several ways you may be able to win your Administrative Hearing and keep your license. First, the DMV will have to prove you were driving you vehicle. Next, they will have to prove they had reasonable cause to stop your car and make a DUI arrest. Finally, they will have to prove your BAC or blood alcohol concentration was 0.08% or higher.
Proving all of elements of your case at the Administrative Hearing can be tough for the DMV. Hiring the right DUI lawyer will improve your chances of challenging your DUI arrest.
Unfortunately, if you fail to request an Administrative Hearing or the court rules against you at your DMV hearing you will have your license suspended. This suspension is not contingent on a DUI conviction, which means your license will be suspended even if you are NOT convicted of DUI.
How long until my DUI case is heard?
Unfortunately, due to backlogs in DUI courts it can take months to have a judge review your case. In fact, some cases can take up to one year to fully resolve. If you have been charged with a felony DUI or you have multiple DUI charges it could take even longer. Pleading guilty is sure to speed up your case, but due to the serious ramifications of a DUI conviction this may not be a good idea.
Administrative penalties for DUI in California
According to the California DMV, if you are 21 years or older and you submitted to the blood alcohol or breath test and your test result was above the legal limit of 0.08% your will have your license immediately suspended for four months.
If this is your second or subsequent offense within the last 10 years you will have your California license suspended for one year. Drivers who are under the age of 21 who submitted to the BAC chemical test will have their license suspended for one year if their BAC is 0.01% BAC or more.
What are the penalties for refusing the chemical test?
Drivers who are 21 years or older and refuse to take the chemical test will have their license suspended for one year. Second offenses within 10 years will have a two year revocation; third offenses will have a 3 year revocation.
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