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Are There Any Deadlines I should be Aware of When I Have Been Stopped for a Los Angeles DUI?

  • September 1, 2017

    Having a DUI arrest on your record can make it harder for you when applying for loans, starting your own business and even dating or making new friends. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, the police may let you go later that night or keep you in a holding cell overnight. Before you leave the station, you’ll receive a copy of your paperwork that lists all the important deadlines you need to know. One of those deadlines relates to the hearing you need to make and attend with the Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV gives you a deadline of just 10 days following the date of your arrest. This is not just business days either and includes any weekend days that pass. You’ll want to set up a hearing with the DMV immediately after your arrest or at least by the end of the following day.

    Criminal Court

    Do not assume that you only need to make an appearance in criminal court because you will also need to appear at the DMV. The criminal court is the court responsible for looking at the evidence of the case. You will see the prosecution on hand to talk about the evidence it has, which proves that you are guilty of a DUI. The criminal court is also the branch that hands down your sentence. Most offenders receive a fine or jail time, though there is a chance that you will receive both. The court can also decide that you should attend an alcohol education program and how long you will need to spend in that program.

    What Does the DMV Hearing Determine?

    The DMV hearing a separate hearing that looks at whether you should lose your license as the result of your DUI. It will look at factors that include your driving record, whether you had a DU before, your blood alcohol level and our age. The DMV can suspend your license or completely revoke your license, which will prevent you from getting a driver’s license in the future. This department can also decide on the length of time that you will lose your license or how long the suspension will last.

    During the Hearing

    During the hearing, you will meet with a hearing officer. This is the person who oversees the case and makes the final decision. Instead of the prosecution proving that you drove under the influence, you must prove that you should keep your license and that there are reasons why you need your license. This is when you’ll talk about how you need to drive to work or you need a license or care for a loved one. Any evidence or information that you present can go a long way towards helping you keep your license.

    What Happens if You Miss the Deadline?

    The DMV gives you just 10 days to call and set up a hearing. Scheduling your hearing early shows the DMV that you are willing to take steps to make up for your DUI and that you will do whatever it takes to keep your license. If you do not make your appointment by the deadline, the DMV will view this as you forfeiting your right to a hearing. It will then revoke or suspend your driver’s license and notify you by mail.

    Though you might feel confident about going before the DMV on your own, you should consult with a Los Angeles DUI attorney first. Not only can that attorney give you advice on what to wear and how to act during the hearing, but you’ll also get help going over the details of your case. This shows you what you can present to plead your case. California also allows you to have your attorney speak for you during the DMV hearing.

    Prior to your hearing, the DMV will give you a temporary driver’s license that you can use when driving your car. This license remains valid until the date of your hearing. If you can retain your license, you can go back to using your full license. Consulting with a DUI attorney in Los Angeles before the DMV deadline is the best way to ensure that you know what to expect and how to handle yourself during that hearing.

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