If you have been arrested for a DUI/DWI, California law requires you must request a DMV hearing within 10 days of the arrest. Failure to do so will result in an automatic suspension of your license 30 days after your arrest.
As I have informed you, a DUI/DWI has a criminal and a civil charge against you. The DMV proceeding is the civil proceeding and is separate and apart from the criminal courtroom proceeding.
The DMV is required to suspend or revoke the driving privilege of any person arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or a combination of alcohol and drugs (DUI), who:
- takes a chemical (blood or breath) test which shows a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or more, or
- refuses to take or fails to complete a chemical (blood or breath)* to determine his/ her BAC level
DMV hearings are administrative per se (APS) hearings and are much more informal. The hearing will be held by a Driver Safety Office (DSO) Hearing Officer–an employee of the Department of Motor Vehicles. Unlike a criminal case that requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the standard of proof in DMV hearings is a “preponderance” of the evidence.
Due to the legal and technical requirements of DMV hearings, the chances of a non-lawyer winning are very low, if at all. This is clearly exemplified by the forms given to you after you have been arrested. The forms can be very confusing. In fact, the forms do not clearly state that you must request a hearing within 10 days of your arrest.
The DMV does not care about your needs, or whether you need your license to go to work in order to provide for yourself and/or your family. That is why you need an attorney to represent you.
Officers will not show in court around a holiday
Many people believe that if you schedule a hearing date before or after a holiday the officer is less likely to show up. This, however, is not true. Part of an officer’s job is to show up in court, and they are very aware of these dates when they schedule vacation. In addition, judges are very aware of this common myth.
Knowing an Officer will help you
Once a ticket is in the system there is very little an officer can do. Many people think they can influence other officers in not showing up, this is illegal. Officers routinely not showing up in court is frowned upon.
Arguing the technicalities in court will help
In order to dismiss a ticket, there has to be an overwhelming amount of evidence as well as a major mistake on part of the officer.
Speeding Tickets a few miles over the limit are easier to dismiss
A ticket is a ticket. Although excessive speeding carries a harsher penalty, any ticket over the designated speed limit is not readily dismissed.
Tickets are primarily given to deter unsafe driving conditions
The laws are written to ensure safe and orderly driving, however, tickets more and more represent a huge revenue for the local enforcement agencies. This is why it is very difficult to dismiss a ticket without the proper representation.
Trial by Declaration are easier to win
It is actually harder to win by Trial by Declaration, because of the notes that are written on the back of the ticket by the officer. An officer must testify from memory so when a ticket is given every detail is recorded, as well as what you have said.
There is nothing you can do to contest your ticket
This is one of the biggest misconceptions out there. Tickets get reduced or dismiss all the time by attorneys. Every ticket is different and it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney. Stay away from attorneys that promise dismissals, or do not want to give you a free consultation. No one can guarantee a dismal and a 95% dismal rate does not mean much.No attorney can guarantee the outcome of any case.