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 OR Call us at: (415) 523-7878

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How Important Is The DMV Hearing In Regard To A DUI?

If we do not request a hearing and the client decides not to request it, then 30 days after the arrest, there is no license. If it’s a situation where the client could have won the case or had a chance to win the case, it’s important to take that chance and fight it. If it turns out that you could have won the hearing, your attorney could have won the hearing but you didn’t request it, or you didn’t get a hearing, an attorney can request one. Moreover, if you didn’t request a hearing within the 10-day timeframe, after 30 days, you’re faced with no license for the next 30 days; and after that, you can get a restricted license for the next five months.

In order to get that restricted license, you have to go to a DUI school, get additional insurance, which is an FR-22 and costs money, as well as pay a reissue fee. You’ll have the suspension on your record, which is going to increase your insurance, and employers and potential employers see that, which can make it tough to get a job or keep one. By requesting a hearing, the attorney prolongs the time that you can keep driving, often for many months, and allows you to fight the case and try to keep all these negative things from being on your driving record. A criminal record is something that would result if you’re convicted of the case in court although just getting arrested for a DUI goes on your permanent criminal record.

If My Paperwork Says I’m Charged With Two Different Counts, What Might Those Charges Be?

There are two different counts that people are typically charged with in DUI offenses when there’s been no injury: Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) and Vehicle Code Section 23152(b). The (a) count or 23152(a) is impaired driving, which means basically not driving with the care and caution of a sober person. And that is the charge where it can be proven by your actual driving; getting in an accident makes it tougher to fight that charge, as well as how you did on your field sobriety tests.

The (b) count or 23152(b) is the per se charge; that’s where you’re at or over a 0.08 blood alcohol level at the time of driving, and that’s based on the chemical test results, which are taken after you’ve been placed under arrest. This is typically a breath test that consists of two blows, the results of which need to be within 0.02 percent of each other.

The other type of chemical testing is blood, and it’s very rare, but a urine test is also an option. The blood test can be done by anyone trained to do it, usually a phlebotomist or a nurse at the hospital. The blood test and the breath test are typically the two ways that they get the number to charge you with a 23152(b). Now, sometimes they don’t get the blood test results right away; however, the cops will still charge someone with Vehicle Code Section 23152(b), along with 23152(a). It seems wrong, but there’s really no remedy for it because it’s going to be up to the DA how to charge the case; and if you come back at or over 0.08 on the blood test, they’re almost always going to charge you with the DUI.

Do I Have To Attend Court Proceedings If I Retain A DUI Attorney?

You most likely will not have to attend the court proceedings, but it depends. In most San Francisco Bay Area counties, you do not need to attend your first court appearance for a DUI, especially if it is a first time DUI or a first offense within 10 years. If it’s a multiple offense, especially if it’s a fourth, you will be charged with a felony and will need to make every court appearance unless the judge says you don’t need to be there. Otherwise, a 977 waiver form is signed by your attorney in open court.

Typically, those facing a misdemeanor DUI or first offense never attend a first appearance in court because all that happens is that the attorney enters a plea of not guilty, gets a new court date and a copy of the initial police report. Sometimes, the attorney may file a motion or reserve filing of a motion at that appearance, but generally, there is no reason for the client to be there. If it’s a very high blood alcohol level or if there was an accident involved with injury, the court may want the client there, in which case there may be a continuation of the case, if the attorney shows up without the client. But typically, the attorney can do everything for the client at the arraignment, i.e., the first appearance.

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

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Aaron Bortel
With 30 years of specialized experience in DUI defense, Attorney Aaron Bortel is a dedicated advocate for those facing DUI charges in the Bay Area. Committed to helping clients avoid jail, save their driver’s licenses and jobs, and prevent permanent criminal records, he combines deep legal expertise with genuine care for his client's welfare. Trust in a lawyer who not only defends but truly supports you through challenging times.

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