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Can An Officer Take My License and Issue a Notice of Suspension?

  • May 26, 2017

    It’s very common for an officer to take the license of a suspected drunk driver. This typically happens after a breath or blood test is performed on the driver. In the event that a driver refuses a test, the officer can still take their license.

    In addition to physically taking a driver’s license, the officer will issue the driver a notice of suspension. Under the California law, a driver that is convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol will receive an automatic suspension of their driving privileges. This Administrative License Suspension starts 30 days after the date of the arrest.

    The officer will issue the arrested driver a temporary license. This temporary license is valid for the 30 days from the date of the arrest until the suspension starts. After the suspension starts, the temporary license is no longer valid.

    What Can You Do About An Administrative License Suspension?

    Every California resident that is arrested for DUI has the right to file for an Administrative Hearing with the DMV. During this Administrative Hearing, a DMV Hearing Officer is given the evidence against the suspected driver. The driver may be present during the hearing along with their Los Angeles DUI lawyers.

    Once the DMV Hearing Officer sees the evidence and hears the testimonies they will make a ruling on the subject of the defendant’s driving privileges. The DMV Hearing Officer may order a suspension or they may set aside the suspension, meaning the person will not have their driving privileges revoked.

    It’s important to realize that you will need to file your request for a DMV Administrative Hearing within 10 days from the date of your arrest. This is the only thing that will keep the 30-day mandatory suspension from taking hold. If you fail to file a request for an Administrative Hearing with the 10-day time frame, you forfeit your right to do so in the future. This means the 30-day suspension will automatically take effect.

    Officers Can Act As Agents Of The State

    When it comes to taking away your driver’s license after a suspected DUI charge, some individuals are protesting that an officer shouldn’t have this right. However, the California courts have determined that officers in the state are fully at liberty to act as an agent of the State and seize a resident’s driving license.

    When the driver’s license is seized, the DMV is notified by the police department of the arrest. The DMV will then update their database to show the suspension taking place in 30-days from the date of the arrest.

    First-Time Offenders

    If you are a first-time DUI offender, it’s likely you may be handed a reduced suspension. The average suspension term is four months. Many first-time offenders will be eligible for a 30-day hard suspension, followed by a restricted license. This restricted license will allow travel to and from work.

    In cases where you refuse a blood or breath test, you will be issued a yearlong driving suspension. There is no opportunity to receive a restricted license if you refuse the test.

    Out-Of-State Offenders

    The California Police Department may only seize the driver’s license of an offender that is registered in the state of California. They may not seize the licenses the are issued by another state. This is an important fact to note as an out-of-state driver.

    The California DMV will update the national DMV database to show the suspension or revocation of a person’s driving privileges in California. The person’s home state can choose which action they would like to take regarding the suspension inacted in California.

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