After a driver is arrested for driving under the influence, or DUI, two types of proceedings start. The first involves the California Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV. The DMV automatically suspends a person’s driving privileges unless he or she schedules a hearing within 10 days. The second proceeding is a criminal court case. You may think the two procedures are the same, but they’re not.
A DMV hearing is not a criminal procedure and it is independent from your criminal case. It is an administrative hearing to determine whether or not you were driving with a .08 or more blood alcohol concentration level and that you were lawfully arrested. The hearing officer makes this determination after hearing the evidence.
Here’s What You Need to Know about Administrative Hearings
Remember the following about administrative license hearings:
- A driver isn’t required to schedule a hearing after his DUI arrest. If no hearing is schedule, the DMV will suspend your license after a review of the evidence.
- A driver doesn’t have to represent herself during the hearing. The driver has the right to legal representation at the hearing.
- A DMV hearing doesn’t decide guilt or innocence with respect to the criminal DUI charge. Even if a driver wins at the DMV hearing, he can be convicted of DUI in criminal court.
What are the differences between a DMV hearing and a Criminal Court Hearing?
At an administrative hearing, facts related to the DMV are discussed. The administrative hearing officer is concerned about the chemical testing as related to your DUI arrest. For example, let’s say you refused to take a breath test at the time of your test. The hearing officer may ask questions like:
• Did the officer have a reason to suspect you of driving while under the influence?
• Was your DUI arrest lawful?
• Did the officer inform you about the consequences of not submitting to the breath test?
• What did your chemical test results indicate?
Your criminal court case will discuss facts of the case such as the traffic stop, blood alcohol concentration and arrest.
Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin for Help with Your DUI
When you’re facing the possibility of a suspended license, you need to do everything in your power to save your license. One thing you need to do is hire an attorney as quickly as possible. The DMV can hold its administrative license hearing prior to your criminal court proceedings, so hiring an attorney to represent you can be extremely beneficial.
Jonathan Franklin has the experience and knowledge to provide you with a solid defense at your administrative and criminal hearings. As a former prosecutor, Jonathan Franklin spent time prosecuting defendants accused of DUI. Now he’s using that knowledge to skillfully defend his clients. He will aggressively fight in an effort to get your DUI charges dropped or reduced.
If you’ve been arrested for DUI and need help retaining your license, contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin to schedule a free consultation.