When pulled over by police, you will be asked for your driver’s license. If you are arrested for a DUI, the police officer will not return the plastic driver’s license to you. Instead you will receive a pink piece of paper, which is your temporary driver’s license for 30 days and then your driver’s license will be automatically suspended unless you contact DMV 10 days from your arrest date. The only way to preserve your driving privilege and fight the suspension action is by contacting the DMV within the time period.
Even if you do not want a California driver’s license, it is the privilege to drive in California, not only the driver license that is affected. An out-of-state licensed driver may have problems with their out-of-state license if a suspension occurs in California.
Criminal Court Versus DMV
he court date is completely separate from the DMV action and has little to do with your driver’s license at this point in the proceedings. The Judge in an Orange County Court does not have control over the DMV and may not order the DMV to return your license. Do not wait for court, you must act now and contact the DMV immediately or your driver’s license will be automatically suspended.
f the DMV is contacted within the 10-day window, a DMV hearing will be set. This hearing is called an Administrative Per Se (APS) action. This APS hearing does not take place at the local DMV office, but rather at a separate DMV office in the city of Orange, and is called the OC Department of Driver’s Safety Office or DSO.
The DSO handles all matters where a person is entitled to a hearing. This includes the APS action in DUI cases. At this APS hearing, a DMV Hearing Officer will be assigned to your matter. This Hearing Officer is the Judge, Jury and Prosecutor of your matter. You need a strong, experienced DUI attorney to fight your driver’s license suspension in front of this Hearing Officer.
DMV Hearing Preparation
After setting the DMV hearing, a stay of suspension will be set in place and your license will not be suspended during the pendency of the DMV case. A request for all evidence, called discovery, will be made. This will ensure that your DUI attorney receives the police report in a timely manner. Upon reviewing the police report, several items by your DUI attorney will be subpoenaed. These will be all items that substantiate, but also may provide doubt to the statements made in the police report. This would include audio and visual recordings of the vehicle stop and DUI investigation, 911 and dispatch recordings, breath and blood records, and any other evidence that the police have regarding you arrest.
Once your OC DUI lawyer receives all this evidence and has reviewed it, experts may be needed to present a defense. An forensic alcohol expert may be need to review the breath or blood records to fight the claim that the results are valid or that you were below a .08 blood alcohol concentration at the time of driving although the results at a later time when the tests were given have you at a higher level. A licensed private investigator may be needed to interview potential witnesses that may provide a defense based on their observations. An accident reconstructionist may be hired to determine where the actual fault lies regarding an accident where someone is injured. All avenues must be thoroughly explored to determine the best defense for your case.
Once all the evidence is gathered and examined, your DUI attorney must present the evidence, that is in your best interest, and make legal arguments on your behalf.