Los Angeles DMV Lawyer
If you are arrested for a DUI offense in Los Angeles, your license will be confiscated, and you will be issued a Temporary (paper) License, pending further action. Subsequently, your driving privileges may be suspended, either by a criminal court or by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Losing your driving privileges can leave you with emotions of anger, disbelief, shame, and disappointment. At the same time, you will be facing various criminal consequences related to your DUI arrest.
Many people charged with DUI mistakenly believe that there is no point in fighting for their rights at a DMV hearing or in a criminal court, but that is far from the truth. It is very possible to not only fight but to win in both cases. However, it is critical to have the assistance of a criminal defense attorney who has your best interests in mind and who knows how to overcome the challenges you will face.
If you were arrested and charged with a DUI offense in Los Angeles, it is important to have an experienced attorney fighting for you at the DMV. The skilled DMV hearing attorneys at Manshoory Law Group have the knowledge and experience necessary to preserve your driving privileges.
Our attorneys will challenge the evidence against you and question the validity of the traffic stop and your arrest. We will examine every option in your defense and will do everything possible to protect your rights. Ultimately, we may be able to successfully persuade the DMV hearing officer to set aside the action against you and allow you to keep your driver’s license.
What is a DMV Hearing?
In California, any licensed driver arrested for a DUI offense (Vehicle Code section 23152) has the right to an administrative hearing to determine whether the DMV will suspend or revoke their driving privileges. Administrative hearings are non-criminal, meaning the outcome of the hearing will only affect your driver’s license and DMV point totals (affecting insurance rates), not whether you go to jail.
While criminal courts do have authority to suspend your license upon conviction for DUI, the DMV hearing may allow a person to maintain their license until their criminal DUI case is dismissed, settled, or taken to trial. If you have been arrested for a DUI offense in Los Angeles, it is important to have a skilled attorney with you at the DMV hearing to challenge the evidence against you and to put forward any evidence that may be in your favor.
How Does a DMV Hearing Work?
It is important to note that, after you have been arrested and charged with a DUI offense in California, you have only ten days from the date of your arrest to report to the DMV and request a Formal Review Hearing. Alternatively, you may “waive” your right to a hearing and petition the DMV for a restricted license.
Either way, you must take action within ten days of the date of your arrest. Failure to request a hearing or apply for a restricted license within this time period, and you will lose the opportunity to contest a suspension, and your driving privileges will automatically be suspended for a minimum of 30 days.
What Are The Possible Outcomes?
At an informal DMV hearing, a DMV “hearing officer” reviews the police record of your arrest, the blood alcohol and chemical tests, and other relevant evidence to determine whether or not your license should be suspended or revoked. Because this is an informal hearing, no witnesses will be called or required to testify, and the DMV will dispatch its decision before your temporary driver’s license expires.
At a formal DMV hearing, the hearing officer will decide to suspend or revoke your driver’s license based on documentary evidence and witness testimony. This includes the testimony of the arresting officers and any other witnesses who have been called to testify. You may also call your own witnesses and testify on your own behalf. In addition, your attorney may cross-examine witnesses and object to the admission of certain types of evidence.
What Does The DMV Review?
At the DMV hearing, the DMV hearing officer will review the circumstances of your arrest to determine if they meet the following three requirements for a suspension:
- You were driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol;
- The officers had a lawful cause to stop and arrest you; and
- Your blood alcohol level was 0.08% or higher.
If any one of these three requirements is not met, you will likely retain your driving privileges. However, unlike in a criminal trial, which requires proof of guilt “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt,” at a DMV hearing, the state is only required to prove the aforementioned requirements by a “Preponderance of the Evidence.”
This lesser burden of proof is just one of the reasons why it is so essential to have an experienced DMV lawyer with you to advocate on your behalf. If you are unsuccessful in your DMV hearing, your license can be suspended for up to six months, a year, or longer depending on your blood alcohol level when you were arrested and whether or not you refused to take a chemical test.
Contact an Experienced Los Angeles Attorney
If you have been arrested for a DUI offense in Los Angeles, it is important to have a skilled attorney with you at the DMV hearing to challenge the evidence against you and to present evidence in your favor. In certain circumstances, the evidence against you can be excluded from the hearing with the help of an experienced Los Angeles DMV attorney.
For example, evidence may be thrown out if your attorney successfully argues that the initial traffic stop was unconstitutional or the chemical tests were not administered properly. Furthermore, by presenting evidence in your favor and cross-examining witnesses, your attorney may be able to persuade the DMV hearing officer against suspending or revoking your license.
The Los Angeles DMV attorneys with Manshoory Law Group have years of experience representing clients in both DMV hearings and criminal DUI trials in California. We can request a hearing on your behalf, represent you in both the DMV hearing and any criminal DUI hearing, and help you apply for a restricted license that will enable you to drive to and from work.
The outcome of your DMV and criminal trial may have a profound effect on your finances and future. We encourage you to contact our law firm as soon as possible after your arrest so that we can immediately take defensive actions on your behalf and help get the charges against you dismissed.
How Do I Sue the California DMV?
If you are unhappy with the decision rendered in your DMV hearing, you have the right to appeal the decision. This can be done by either: 1. Requesting that the DMV conduct an internal review of the decision; 2. Filing a petition for writ of mandate with the superior court in the county where you reside; or 3. Both Neither is an easy process. Working with an experienced Los Angeles DMV hearing attorney will give you the best chance to succeed.
Who Oversees the California DMV?
The California DMV is a division of the California State Transportation Agency, along with the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), and other departments and divisions.
What are the Chances that I Can Win at My DMV Hearing?
Even though the DMV only has to prove its case by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that what they allege is more likely to be true than not, you can still win. If your lawyer can present identifiable defenses to the DMV’s case, get evidence thrown out, or successfully dispute the validity of the initial traffic stop or the chemical tests, you will have a strong chance at winning at your DMV hearing.
How Long Does it Take to Get a DMV Hearing in Los Angeles?
Your Los Angeles DMV hearing will generally take place within two months of the date of your DUI arrest. Sometimes, your DMV hearing will be scheduled right away. Other times, the hearing won’t be scheduled until the DMV receives the police report of your arrest. Either way, for the best outcome, it is important to get a qualified Los Angeles DMV hearing attorney involved in your case as soon as possible.