DMV License Suspension
Understanding a DMV License Suspension – What Happens to My License?
We maintain a separate page for DMV advice and information. This page addresses what happens to your license when you get a DUI.
When you get arrested for DUI, police procedure requires that, if you have a California license, your license be taken from you, and you are given a pink, temporary license. That license is good for 30 days.
Note that for DUI cases, a request for a D.M.V. hearing must be made within 10 days of the arrest. I f there is no request made within 10 days, the driver’s license will be suspended/revoked 30 days from the date of arrest, and suspended for a period of time. The length of time of the suspension will depend upon how many DUI convictions you have in the preceding seven years, whether you were under 21, and whether you refused a chemical test.
That request can be made by calling the Office of Driver Safety, or by faxing a request to them. It can’t be made by visiting a DMV branch office. We prefer to send a fax so that it can be proven that the DMV received the request within the 10 day time period, and then follow up with a call to confirm receipt on their end and schedule an in person hearing. The fax can also be used to satisfy the DMV requirements that requests for discovery (reports and other evidence used in the hearing) be made in writing.
DMV License Suspension – What Happens After 30 Days?
Once the request is made for a hearing, the DMV will extend your temporary license. A new temporary license will be issued and mailed, extending driving for several months longer than the initial 30 days.
DMV License Suspension – Winning the DMV Hearing
The DMV is subject to the rules of evidence, and legal objections based upon evidence are entered at the DMV to each of the documents the DMV uses. More people lose the hearing when they don’t have a lawyer, for a couple of reasons – they use the opportunity to beg for a license and try to make the DMV see how much they need to drive, and they don’t know the legal objections to the documents.
As a legal proceeding, the need to drive is irrelevant to the DMV hearing officer. When you walk into a hearing, you have a full license, and the DMV has a duty to examine the three legal issues of the DMV hearing (Whether there was valid probable cause, whether the police followed the procedures for a valid arrest, and whether they can prove driving a vehicle while above a .08% at the time of driving), to see if there is sufficient evidence to make a case.
Everything can be important at a DMV hearing. Because the laws of what is allowable hearsay require that the document prepared by the police is “inherently reliable”, among other requirements, not signing the document, having the wrong dates on the document, not describing the probable cause in enough detail, not following the testing rules (or describing the tests in enough detail), delaying writing the report, are all important details that can help.
Invalid probable cause at a DMV hearing will win the hearing. And we have won DMV refusal cases, or won DUI cases completely with the right objections, asserted to the DMV hearing officer.
DMV License Suspension – Special Situations
Certain actions, such as refusal to submit to a blood test or breath test, can cause your license to automatically be suspended for one year, or longer if priors exist. For more information see our DMV advice page.