The California DUI Process Inherently Involves the DMV
California DUI. If you have been arrested for DUI in California, it is imperative that you understand that the process ahead of you involves more than proceedings in the state’s criminal courts. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will be a key player, as well. The purpose of this article is to explain the role of the DMV following a DUI arrest in California. If you have been charged with DUI in the state of California, contact an experienced Santa Rose DUI Defense attorney.
You Must Contact the DMV Within 10 Days of a California DUI Arrest
A DUI arrest can be an unsettling experience. You probably thought it could never happen to you. Suddenly, your whole world is spinning at the prospect of fines, reputational damage, community service, raised insurance rates, loss or restriction of driving privileges, and possibly jail time. Images of courtrooms and jail cells may come to mind. An image that may not come to mind, though it should, is that of the DMV. DUI, after all, is about driving under the influence. As such, the DMV has an interest in communicating, educating, and possibly punishing drivers who have been arrested or convicted for DUI in the state.
If you take away one thing from this article, let it be this: you must contact that DMV within 10 days of your DUI arrest to demand a hearing. If you fail to do so, you automatically forfeit your right to a hearing and your driver’s license goes into suspension after 30 days have elapsed. Because of these high stakes, an experienced California DUI Defense attorney will be of great help to you. From a procedural standpoint, an experienced attorney can handle the scheduling of the hearing and thoroughly prepare for it. From a substantive perspective, your experienced DUI Defense attorney will argue on your behalf for the DMV to refrain from suspending your license. This process of argumentation involves the accumulation of evidence relevant to the charges against you. This evidence will doubtlessly include the manner in which you were stopped for suspicion of DUI, the type of test administered to determine your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), and the procedure by which the test was administered.
Importantly, the state’s law enforcement officers must comply with a number of strict state and federal Constitutional requirements that protect individuals against unreasonable searches and seizures. If an officer lacked probable cause in making a traffic stop in the first place, or if a checkpoint was not properly operated or was unreasonable in duration or judgment, grounds may exist for dismissal of the charges against you. The same is true if the DUI BAC test involved malfunctioning equipment or improper administration by the arresting officer.
To protect your legal rights and mount the strongest possible legal defense against the state’s efforts to convict you and restrict your driving privileges, contact a skilled and experienced Petaluma DUI Defense attorney. The 10-day window to contact the DMV is already closing, so do not delay. Beck Law P.C. covers matters in Sonoma County, Mendocino County and Lake County California.