At the beginning of 2022, the law regarding DUI diversion changed. DUIs are no longer eligible for diversion in California. Please contact our office with any questions. Email us at abortellaw@gmail.com OR Call us at: (415) 523-7878

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Law Firm of Aaron Bortel

Facing DUI Charges In The San Francisco Bay Area


Facing-DUI-ChargesIn this process, you will learn…

  • When you can request to have your DUI conviction expunged,
  • How having a DUI on your DMV record can impact you, and
  • How changes to the DMV admin per se hearing process can benefit you.

How Long Does A DUI Conviction Stay On My Criminal Record In The San Francisco Bay Area?

In the San Francisco Bay Area, a DUI conviction stays on your criminal record forever unless you are successful in getting it expunged from your record. If an expungement is granted, the criminal conviction will be dismissed.

Under Penal Code Section 1203.4, your attorney can bring a motion to expunge your record once your probation is over. The DA may contest it, but the factors that help determine whether or not the court will expunge your DUI are…

  • You have complied with the terms of your probation,
  • You have paid your fine,
  • You have completed your DUI school, and
  • Completed any other terms of probation.

Once the court has agreed to expunge your DUI, it is basically a case dismissal. For most purposes, you are no longer required to reveal that you have had any conviction. It isn’t the same as sealing and destroying the record, but the conviction typically won’t impact your employment or other opportunities as much because it will show as a dismissed case.

There are exceptions to this in the state of California. For instance, if you are applying for one of the hundreds of professional licenses issued by the state, you would have to reveal your DUI. The expungement doesn’t wipe your record clean. It will show your arrest and conviction, but it will also show that your case was later dismissed.

Typically, your probation will be three to five years. In California, however, if you can get your charge reduced to a “wet reckless” misdemeanor charge, you would only have a one-year probation. This allows you to bring a motion for expungement sooner.

Expungement also does not impact priorability in the state of California. Priorability is when you receive a second DUI within 10 years of the first DUI, and your potential penalties are greatly increased. Even if your DUI was expunged, it will still be considered a first offense if you receive another DUI within 10 years and would then be facing a second offense DUI.

How Long Does A DUI Stay On My DMV Record In The San Francisco Bay Area?

In San Francisco and the rest of California, a DUI conviction will remain on your DMV record for at least 10 years. Once 10 years have passed, you can contact them and request that it be removed, if they do not do it automatically.

Unfortunately, having a DUI on your DMV record will make it difficult to get jobs with companies that require you to drive their vehicles or be under their automobile insurance. It will also negatively impact your own insurance.

Your DMV record is considered civil, not criminal, so it is handled differently. You can get a criminal record expunged, but you can’t get a civil record expunged.

The key to preventing a DMV record is to win your DUI court case and win your DMV hearing. If driving is something that you need to do for your job, you will want to go all out in fighting the DUI. It would definitely be worth the expense of hiring an experienced DUI attorney to help you navigate the process for the best possible outcome.

What Is The New DMV Admin Per Se Hearing Process In The San Francisco Bay Area After A DUI?

There have been some recent changes in 2022 to the way that DMV is conducting its administrative hearings. An administrative hearing has to be requested within 10 days of an arrest for DUI. The typical process is to hire an experienced DUI lawyer who will contact the DMV and request the administrative hearing.

While you are waiting for your hearing, your driver’s license will not be suspended. You will be able to drive until the conclusion of your hearing. Sometimes it takes six months to a year or longer to have your hearing, and you are able to drive during this entire time period, as long as your court case and DMV case are still pending.

If your attorney wins the administrative hearing, the license will not be administratively suspended. Your license can still be suspended depending on your court case, however.

For many years, the procedure in place for these hearings was that one DMV officer would act as both prosecutor and judge. In this capacity, they could subpoena witnesses, including police officers or independent witnesses to the driving or relevant accident. They could even subpoena a forensic toxicologist or the person who drew your blood.

The purpose of subpoenaing these witnesses was, essentially, to fill in any holes in the police reports. The police officers couldn’t always properly fill out the reports, so DMV would seek to verbally fill in the blanks.

What ended up happening was that DMV would give themselves continuances, sometimes as many as three or four, if their witnesses failed to show up to the hearing. In traffic court, the case is typically dismissed if the police officer didn’t show up to the hearing, but that wasn’t what was happening in these administrative hearings. They would grant themselves continuances until they could get their suspension.

As of September 6th 2022, DMV is not going to be subpoenaing witnesses, in most situations any longer. If there are big enough holes in their report, they are supposed to make a decision early on that they don’t have a case and dismiss the case.

If the case isn’t dismissed at the hearing, an experienced DUI lawyer will show that those critical elements that are needed to suspend your license at a DMV admin per se hearing in the San Francisco Bay Area are not present.

There are three elements in a regular DMV hearing for a DUI and four elements in a refusal case for DMV purposes. They must meet their civil burden of proving these elements. If they don’t meet this burden, we should be able to get what’s called a ‘set aside’ for these hearings and save our client from suffering an administrative suspension.

The changes to the DMV’s procedures are a result of an appellate court finally agreeing that their old system was unlawful. This decision came from overturning a case where the California DUI Lawyers Association (CDLA) sued the DMV for unlawful hearing processes 10 years ago. These new procedures resulting from this decision will ideally present new opportunities for DUI attorneys to advocate for their clients in a lawful and fair system.

For more information on Facing DUI Charges In San Francisco Bay Area, CA, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 886-6333 today.

Aaron Bortel

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