Protecting your license after an arrest


After an arrest for DUI and the police obtain a chemical test (blood test or breath test) result and the result shows a blood-alcohol concentration of .08% or greater, the license (must be a California license) of that person arrested for DUI will be confiscated by the arresting officer and should be served an “Administrative Per Se Order of Suspension/Revocation and Temporary License Endorsement“. Also, your driver’s license is confiscated if you refuse a chemical.

Remember, refusing a chemical test comes with a much more severe suspension.  After arrest, the document served by the police officer is (1) a notice of the administrative hearing, and (2) a 30-day temporary permit to drive, and (3) notice of the right to request an administrative hearing within 10 days. If the officer fails to serve the notice of suspension, you have within 14 days after the DMV has mailed the notice of suspension to request an administrative hearing (hearing). If the you fail to contact the Driver Safety Office within the 10 days (14 days if no personal notice) you loseyour right to an administrative hearing.

Once you have contacted the appropriate Driver Safety Office, a hearing will be set.  At this hearing, a hearing officer will advise you of your legal rights.  The hearing officer would provide you with the following rights:

1) A right to be represented by an attorney at the driver’s own expense.

2) A right to review the evidence to be presented by the DMV.

3) A right to present evidence on your own behalf. This includes presenting witnesses on your behalf and subpoenaing the officer or another witness you think will help in the defense of your case.

4) Finally, you have a right to testify and give your side of the story.

If the hearing officer rules against you, you have the right to have your decision reviewed by DMV through the “administrate review” process. This request to have an adverse decision reviewed must be done within 15 days of the date on the decision.  There is another avenue of review that is much more costly.  It is called a “writ of mandate.” This second avenue of appeal has the advantage of an actual Superior Court Judge reviewing the hearing officer’s decision instead of a DMV employee reviewing the decision.

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