DUI DMV Hearing

I've been arrested on suspicion of DUI. What happens to my driver's license?

The Department of Motor Vehicles will initiate action to suspend your California driver's license for a minimum of 30 days. If you refused a chemical test under the implied consent law in California, the DMV may suspend your license for one year.

If you were pulled over and arrested on suspicion of DUI, the police most probably have already confiscated your license and given you a pink piece of paper. It is important for you to know the significance of this pink piece of paper and what can happen if you do not follow through with the steps that must be taken to recover your driver's license. This pink piece of paper is only a temporary 30-day driver's license.

The loss of your driving privilege in California is devastating!

It affects your transportation to and from work, school, child care and your mobility in general. If you received this pink slip, it is really in your best interests to contact our office as soon as possible since you have only 10 days to request the DMV hearing where recovery of your driver's license may be possible.

At the DMV hearing the hearing officer, more often than not, will side with the arresting officer regarding the legitimacy of the conditions surrounding the arrest and you will probably not get your license back. Your best chance to recover your driver's license at the hearing is to have an experienced DUI attorney represent you. My many years of defending people accused of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs and my extensive experience and knowledge of this crime give me the tools I need to successfully defend you against these DUI charges.

Some of the defenses that may be used in your favor are:

  • Faulty or improper police arrest and investigation
  • Problems with the breath testing equipment
  • Incorrect reading of the test results

I've received a pink piece of paper entitled 'notice of suspension.' What do I do with this?

On most misdemeanor DUI arrests, the police will release you a few hours following your arrest and booking (whereas, on a felony DUI arrest or accident case, you may have to post bail).

The arresting officer will confiscate your driver's license and issue you a temporary 30-day driver's license in the form a pink piece of paper entitled "notice of suspension." Additionally, you will receive a citation to appear in court.

After you get the pink slip, you will have 10 days to schedule your DMV hearing.

If you hire us, we can schedule that hearing for you and represent you before the DMV officer.

We can also appear on your behalf so that you may not have to go (unless we find it advantageous for you to be there). At this hearing, you will have an opportunity to provide evidence (in the form of documents and/or testimony), which would help restore your driving privileges until your DUI court case is heard. We will also have an opportunity to challenge the evidence against you.

We can challenge the reason for the stop. If the police did not have reasonable suspicion that you committed a traffic violation or probable cause that you committed a crime, we can argue that the very stop of your vehicle was illegal and that any evidence gathered afterward (including your field sobriety test, blood test) was illegally obtained. If the DMV hearing officer accepts this, the evidence against you is thrown out and you keep your license.

You should be aware that the objective of the DMV hearing is not to try your DUI case. Rather, it is to persuade the DMV not to suspend your driver's license. Separate and apart from the DMV hearing is your court case. The court determines your guilt or innocence of DUI.

However, it should be noted that as your lawyer, we may also use the DMV hearing as an opportunity to gather evidence that may prove useful in court. For instance, we can subpoena the arresting officer to give testimony and elicit admissions as to deficiencies in the investigation and inadequate DUI training. We can also subpoena logs that register the calibration and maintenance of the breathalyzer, thereby revealing possible malfunctions and incorrect readings. A DMV hearing victory can also be a form of leverage to get your case disposed favorably in court.

The DMV hearing officer will take the matter under review and subsequently issue a written determination. The officer will mail you the decision within 30 days. If the DMV issues a decision favorable to you, your license will not be suspended. However, your license will be suspended if the DMV denies your case or the court finds you guilty of DUI. If your license is suspended, you can apply for a restricted license and get it within 30 days.

This license will allow to drive to and from work as well as to and from any alcohol program imposed by the court or the DMV.