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What to Expect at a DMV Hearing

If you should ever be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in California, you will face two separate legal proceedings: a criminal DUI charge and a hearing with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to decide what will happen with your driver's license. While the criminal aspect of your DUI case will revolve around the possibility of penalties such as jail time or expensive fines, the DMV case is an administrative procedure that solely concerns your driving privileges.

Upon being arrested for DUI, your arresting officer will confiscate your license and give you a "notice of suspension" that allows you to drive for a maximum of 30 days. At the end of this period, your license will be suspended unless you successfully contest your suspension at a DMV administrative hearing. Since you will only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing, it is imperative you act as quickly as possible.

While DMV hearings are in many ways more relaxed than court trials, they are still very serious and must be treated as such. Instead of a judge, a DMV hearing officer with no legal training will preside over your hearing and determine whether or not it is appropriate to uphold or overturn your suspension. DMV license suspension hearings also operate on a lesser burden of proof than a criminal trial, meaning that it is much easier for the hearing officer to prove your guilt than in a criminal proceeding. California law allows individuals to be represented by an attorney at a DMV hearing, though they must retain an attorney at their own expense.

At your DMV DUI hearing, you will be given the opportunity to:

  • Challenge evidence
  • Present and question witnesses
  • Question your arresting officer
  • Testify on your own behalf

The outcome of your DMV hearing will mainly be based on whether the officer had reasonable suspicion that you were under the influence of alcohol, whether or not you were arrested lawfully, and whether your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeded the legal limit of 0.08%. If you win your DMV hearing, your license suspension will be overturned and you will maintain the right to drive. If you lose, your license will be suspended anywhere from four months to three years' time, depending on if you have prior DUI offenses and whether or not you refused a chemical test.

Protect Your Right to Drive – Call (888) 392-8114

If you have been arrested for DUI, the powerful Orange County DUI lawyers at the Law Office of Frances Prizzia can provide the aggressive advocacy you need to maximize your chances of maintaining your driving privileges. Backed by a "Superb" Avvo Rating and nearly a decade's worth of criminal defense experience, your case is sure to be in excellent hands.

Schedule a no-cost case review today or contact our office online get started.

  • Track Record
    of Success

    As one of Orange County's premier criminal firms, we've successfully handled hundreds of cases.

    Read About Our Victories
  • Trusted &
    Experienced

    Let the words of our past clients help you decide if we are the right law firm to represent you.

    Client Testimonials
  • Accused of
    Domestic Abuse?

    We are familiar with defending against false accusations. Our firm knows how to build a solid defense.

    Accomplished Defense
  • Contact Our
    Office Today

    We know every case is unique, which is why we offer representation tailored to meet your needs.

    Protect Yourself

Contact Us

Law Office of Frances Prizzia
Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney
Located at: 5000 Birch Street,
Suite 3000,

Newport Beach, CA 92660
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Phone: (888) 392-8114
Local Phone: (714) 248-8661
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Disclaimer

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.