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How Can An Out Of State DUI Defendant Handle DMV Hearings?


With the Department of Motor Vehicles or the DMV in California, you actually will get a notice once a hearing is set that you are required to be there. As long as you have a lawyer a lawyer can take care of it. I typically set my DMV hearings in person, there are some documents that I want to see that the DMV has. I want to see what all of the evidence is and typically I will not have a client testify at DMV. What does that mean? Does that mean that the client does not need to be there? If I did need a client who is out of state to testify, if it’s critical and I really need the hearing officer to be able to see my clients, see their expressions, see their sincerity, see their truthfulness, their honesty. I may say we need you out here and if it’s your decision that you cannot come to the hearing in person, we can have a client testify by phone.

DMV understands that for clients who do not live nearby or who live out of state or sometimes out of the country. So we’ve done that many times before. So what I would do as your DUI lawyer for your DMV hearing is I would prep you ahead of time and go over the potential questions that I would ask to you, the DMV might ask you, and we talk about the best way to answer this question so you are feeling comfortable and it’s not the first time you’ve been asked those questions. DMV only has so many types of different questions that they will ask. Having a DUI lawyer who really knows how to handle hearings at the Department of Motor Vehicles in preparing you if you need to testify at the hearing. But in most cases, we do not need our clients to testify at a hearing.

Typically we do it in a No Drive case or a rise in blood alcohol level case but we try to not have our clients testify because DMV often will be able to turn that around and once they do it makes it much more difficult to win the hearing for the defense attorney. We are trying to use more scientific evidence in these cases rather than having the client justify it because they turn it into a credibility issue and that’s something which makes it a lot harder on us to win the hearing.

Will The Driver’s License Be Cancelled In The Home State As Well As California For An Out Of State DUI Defendant?

Say someone’s license got suspended in California because they were convicted in court or did not win the hearing at the Department of Motor Vehicles. If that happens, when the driver’s license gets suspended in California, it’s typically for 6 months on a first offense. Its two years on a second offense. What happens in most cases is to get the high value SR-22 insurance ahead of time. If you get it ahead of time, it’s my understanding that sometimes that can prevent your home state from seeing or easily seeing s suspension from out of state because that’s what I’ve been told clues the other state in if you do have a DUI is it sums up a red flag that says you need to have an SR-22 to be driving in that state.

SR-22 is high risk insurance which is required if you do not win your DMV hearing or if you get convicted of a DUI in court. It’s also something that you are going to need out of state in order to get a suspension in California lifted. So if you are suspended today, six months from now you would be able to request that California lift the suspension and to do that you would have to do a 1650 waiver which means that you have to contact the Sacramento DMV, they would send you paperwork to your home state address. You fill that up, be sure to put the proof of SR-22 in it which California should really have on file if you did things right and did them early to prevent your home state finding out about it.

Once California gets all of that information, they will lift the suspension and you will have to pay a re-issue fee by the way. California lifts the suspension and then hopefully your home state does not find out about it or the consequences might not be that bad if they see that all the requirements have been met. The home state could still suspend you if they see it, they could still make you do a DUI School in your home state. What’s interesting about the DUI School is that if you live in California and have a California license, you have to do the DUI School and finish it before you are fully reinstated to drive in California. If you have an out of state license, what a lot of courts will now let you do is an online course and it would be the equivalent of the California course online.

Someone who has a California license who wants to reinstate in California is not allowed to do an online course. You have to do it in person. But out of state, if you do an online course, that will satisfy the courts and if you have to do DUI School but because you didn’t do the DUI School in California you have to go through the 1650 waiver and contact Sacramento DMV and an SR-22 and wait for 6 months of suspension and then you can get reinstated. So there is a big difference. Now if you have been in California for a while and are moving back to your home state, if there is enough time, you are going to get convicted of DUI in California and you could do the DUI School here. You want to do it here because that way you are privileged to drive in California, you’ll be reinstated properly.

The problem with the 1650 waiver and being out of state is that basically you are telling the DMV that for this suspension in California, I know I didn’t do an in person school in California and I’m not going to be driving in California for the next few years. If you have to come back to California for work or pleasure or for whatever reason, you are technically not supposed to be driving in California until that period is up. There is a lot of stuff going on up there and you should really get an experienced DUI lawyer to help you look through all of this.

For more information on Out Of State DUI DMV Hearings, 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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