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How Soon Should I Contact The DMV After A DUI Arrest In Marin County?


Contacting the DMV is something you should have the attorney you hire take care of. There are 10 days to do that from your date of arrest, so the day after your calendar date of arrest is Day 1, and weekends count. I typically say as soon as possible, have the attorney do it, don’t just do it yourself and then hire an attorney a few days later and say, “I’ve already set the hearing.” If you do that and you get the attorney quick, the attorney can probably set it appropriately for what fits their schedule. But it’s best to have the attorney you hired do it, so try and hire that attorney within the 10 days of arrest.

How Does The Administrative Hearing Work In Marin County After A DUI Charge?

What I do is I keep the administrative hearing, basically I time it with the court hearing, so I will keep both cases going on for the same amount of time. There are many reasons for that, but one is if there is a penalty for one we don’t want, the penalty to be even greater, meaning a longer suspension because one was finished soon, and the other was finished many months later. That can and has happened before, and we don’t want it to happen again. Additionally, the administrative hearing and the discovery process for that, sometimes I will get discovery for one of either the hearing or the court case that I am not getting from the other, and it can help one or both cases.

Sometimes testimony from one case can help with the other cases. A lot of factors go into this, but basically the way the administrative per se hearing works is those three issues. Those issues are on the back of the pink temporary license that you get when you’re released from jail, and the one that on the front says you have 10 days to request a hearing. To paraphrase those on a non-refusal case, did they have sufficient cause to pull you over and do a DUI investigation, were you lawfully arrested, and were you at or over a 0.08 at the time of driving. Those are the three issues that DMV has to prove, so what we’re trying to do with the administrative per se hearing is, because DMV’s burden is less than it is in court. In court, it’s beyond reasonable doubt; in DMV, it’s the civil burden.

It’s 51%, and more likely than not it’s tipping of the scales. So we’ve got to show that the DMV cannot say it’s more likely than not on one of those three issues. We may be challenging the probable cause to pull someone over. That may be based on video, it shows that the person was not doing what the officer claimed they were, maybe the procedure that’s used to arrest was not done properly, or it could be on the testing. There may be something wrong with the machine, we might have a rising blood alcohol level defense, or we might have a no driving defense. There are all sorts of defenses we have at DMV, but it is very hard to win. If you do not win, your license gets suspended.

Typically that’s going to be no driving for four months. After one month, you can request a restricted license, and have a license restricted for driving to and from work, and to and from DUI school for the next 5 months. The exception is if you had an extremely high blood alcohol level, which might make it a 10-month restriction. If it’s a refusal case for DMV, there are other issues for the admin per se hearing. They’re looking at the sufficient cause to pull you over, the lawful arrest, were you admonished, what would happen if you refused to take the chemical test, and did you refuse to take a chemical test. Those are the four issues of a refusal hearing.

The result of that, if it’s a first offense, it’s typically one full year of no driving, no restriction, no nothing. These are very serious matters, and the DMV is to be dealt with in a very serious way. It is something that I have won countless DMV hearings. There is no DUI lawyer in California who does a lot of DUI cases, who wins even close to half of their DMV hearings. But I do win enough where it’s definitely worth requesting the hearing in almost every case, and fighting DMV. Just requesting and fighting the case at DMV can be helpful to the criminal case, so it is very important to do this. Even if you weren’t driving or you didn’t have a car, still it’s important to fight the DMV case.

For more information on Contacting The DMV After A DUI, 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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