When you are ticketed and charged with a DUI, your license is, in most cases, automatically suspended by the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). In most cases, you can appeal this suspension or request a temporary, restricted license. However, you must follow the proper protocol in order to maintain a valid license. There may be some variance in procedural requirements depending on your state, so it's a good idea to check with an experienced DUI attorney before beginning the process.
Following a DUI arrest
When you're ticketed for a DUI, you will be given a citation that technically acts as a temporary license during your hearing request period. In most states, you have a window of ten days following your DUI arrest to file for a hearing at the DMV. The DMV automatically suspends your license when you are arrested for DUI, and you will have no recourse if you do not file for a hearing within the state determined filing period.
If filing is complicated in your state, or if you are unclear of the requirements, it's a good idea to contact an experienced DUI attorney to help you through the process.
Once you have requested a hearing
If you have requested a hearing, there are a number of different avenues you can legally pursue. If you want to challenge the legality of your arrest and ask for full license reinstatement, you should consult a DUI attorney to make sure you are aware of the legal arrest requirements.
If you would like an informal review of your case in order to obtain a restricted work license, you may just have to fill out and submit a few forms.
Challenging an arrest
You may have grounds to challenge a DUI arrest if the traffic stop was not legally performed. If you refused a breathalyzer test, for instance, but were not informed by arresting officers that your refusal would trigger implied consent, you may plead your case and potentially have your license reinstated.
If you would simply like to request a temporary license that will allow you to commute, you may be able to fill out a few forms at the DMV to be reviewed privately by a DMV official. A formal hearing will likely involve subpoenas, statements and extensive reports, and may not be necessary depending on your requests and the nature of your case.
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Recently on our DUI forum a user asked, “I am twenty years of age. I was arrested for a California DUI. I am wondering what will happen to me now and what steps I need to take. Do I need to talk to a DUI lawyer?”