A second DUI offense usually requires that the offender’s driver’s license be suspended for a period anywhere from 1 to 2 years. The offender may also face criminal punishments that can consist of 90 days to 1 year in jail, fines up to $1,000, and a 3 to 5 year period of probation. However, an experienced attorney from the Orange County DUI Attorney Law Firm can provide you a defense that will increase the chances of you avoiding a license suspension by requesting and representing you at a DMV hearing and/ or help you prevail at your criminal case.

Second Offense DUI and DMV hearing

If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or higher when you are arrested, the police will confiscate your driver’s license after you are arrested and send it to the California DMV. After your arrest, you or your attorney will have an opportunity to request a DMV hearing. YOU OR YOUR ATTORNEY MUST REQUEST THE DMV HEARING WITHIN A 10-DAY PERIOD AFTER YOUR ARREST OCCURRED, INCLUDING WEEKENDS. The DMV hearing, depending on the specific case, can be done over the phone or in person. If you or your attorney fails to request the DMV hearing, your driver’s license suspension will commence after the expiration of your temporary 30-day license.

If you do request your DMV hearing within the 10-day period, your driver’s license suspension will be set aside until the administrative judge issues a decision at the conclusion of your DMV hearing. If you obtain a favorable outcome in your DMV hearing and your license is not suspended, you may still face a license suspension if you lose your case during the criminal process of your DUI case.

The DMV hearing usually addresses 3 questions in order to determine whether to suspend or delay the suspension of your driver’s license.

  1. Was your arrest lawful?
  2. Did you have a BAC of .08% or higher at the time of your arrest?
  3. Was there enough probable cause to warrant a reasonable suspicion that you were operating a vehicle under the influence?

Retaining a Private Attorney

If you choose, an attorney may represent you at your DMV hearing. The DMV hearing is entirely separate from your criminal case, but hiring an attorney to represent you during the DMV hearing can increase the possibility of you avoiding a driver’s license suspension. You will not be entitled to have a public defender represent you at your DMV hearing.

Hiring a private attorney can lead to many benefits during your DMV hearing, such as the ability to help you reinstate your driver’s license as soon as possible. Another benefit is that you attorney can also bring to light any misconduct performed by the police and point out any weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case against you. If you have a private attorney at your DMV hearing, it will provide the attorney with an opportunity to cross-examine and subpoena the arresting law enforcement officer, as well as use any court transcripts or documents to help negotiate a plea deal for you during the criminal stage of your case.

If you prevail at the DMV hearing, you will retain your driving privileges. On the other hand, if you lose your criminal case, you can still be subject to a license suspension. If you lose at the DMV hearing, the, DMV will suspend your driver’s license anywhere from 4 months to 3 years, depending on your previous DUI history, as well as if you refused to subject to a blood test.

The California DMV will not try to suspend your driver’s license if your BAC was below .08% or if the results of a chemical test were below a .08%.

Court-mandated DMV license suspension

The DUI court case will address if you are guilty of committing the criminal act or not. The decision of the DMV hearing will have no influence on what occurs during the DUI court process.

If you are found to be not guilty of the DUI charges during the criminal process, the California DMV can reverse your driver’s license suspension. The license reversal is dependent on the overturning of the charge of driving with a BAC over .08% against you.

If your DUI charge is reduced to a reckless driving charge, it will not affect your DMV imposed driver license suspension.

If the DUI charge against your is dismissed or is not filed by the District Attorney due to lack of evidence, after you have lost at the DMV hearing, you will be given the opportunity to present your case at an additional DMV hearing within one year after the date you were arrested.

Restricted License after a Second DUI Offense

A restricted license only allows the individual issued the license to drive to and from work, school, and the court-mandated alcohol education classes the individual is required to participate in. The DMV allows for an individual to file a SR22 form for a restricted license, 30 days after the individual’s license suspension has been imposed. If the court has suspended your license, you are eligible to file for a restricted license immediately.