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How Does The DMV Suspension Differ From The DUI Suspension?


For DMV purposes, if you are not able to win the admin per se hearing, you have to request the hearing or have your attorney request the hearing within ten days of the arrest. In that hearing, there are three issues and the burden of proof is not a “burden.” It is a civil burden or tipping of the scales, so it is a much easier burden to be met by the DMV than it is for the DA in court. However, the DMV is only looking to take your license away. On a regular first offense if you are not able to win your DMV hearing, and your blood alcohol level is below a 0.20%, you are looking at a four month suspension or a one month suspension followed by five months of a restricted driver’s license. This allows you to drive to and from work in the course or from a DUI School.

If your blood alcohol level is above a 0.20%, then typically what happens is you do a nine month DUI School instead of a three month DUI School. This is followed by one month of no driving followed for ten months of work restricted driving and to and from a DUI School. In order to get that restricted license, you are now required to obtain a SR-22 high risk insurance policy. People ask me all the time for advice on that. I can give them the names of companies who do offer this policy because they may not want to let their insurance companies know, rates will rise. Also, DMV will require you to be enrolled in a DUI School before you can get that restricted license set up. That is something that someone probably wants to do right away.

In regards to court penalties for a DUI, they are probably going to put you on probation up to three to five years. Typically three years on a first offense plus a fine which usually varies from $1800 up to $2500? There is jail. You have to do six months of jail on a first DUI. Generally, most people on a first DUI are required to work picking up trash for a day or two with the Sherriff’s work program, but that would depend on how high the blood alcohol level registered. In Santa Clara County, it is the same thing. In Palo Alto, they probably have the greatest penalties for DUIs right now. Their first offenses often require ten to twenty-five days in jail on a first offense involving injury accidents or a high blood alcohol content.

In California people have what is called folding and key credit which is good work time. This means that you have to serve one-hundred and ten to one-hundred and twenty days in jail. If someone gets six days and they put in a day or two of credit already then they have only served a day. A day of credit would be time you spent in jail after you were arrested for a DUI. Some people just do not end up in jail. They are taken to the police station and not to the actual jail and they may be released from there. They may go to the hospital instead of going to jail. If someone is arrested before midnight, typically if they are in jail past midnight, they will get two days of credit.

Also, different instances of DUIs are a zero tolerance policy. That means you cannot have any alcohol in your system when you are driving for the period of probation which can be up to two to three years. There are a number of other penalties if you are pulled over for a DUI. You are required to blow into the alcohol screening device where you are not required to do so if you are not under DUI probation. As you can see, there are plenty of penalties. There is also the DUI School; you must attend school for up to three or nine months on a first offense.

What happens with the driver’s license in Sacramento, the DC receives word that you have been convicted in the court of a DUI. They will send you a letter saying, “You are suspended and get a restricted license right away”, but unfortunately if you have lost your DMV hearing, you are going to automatically not drive for thirty days. So there is a little bit of a difference in the penalties, but the penalties in court are much greater issue.

For more information on DMV Driver’s License Suspension, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 523-7878 today.

Aaron Bortel

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