Does it Hurt my San Diego DUI Case if my DMV Hearing is Continued?

  • September 1, 2017

    It is crucial for a driver to call the DMV and schedule a hearing in the event that they are arrested and charged with driving under the influence. Also, time is of the essence because a hearing with the DMV needs to happen within 10 days of being charged with a DUI. Finally, there are things someone charged with driving under the influence should know about DMV hearings in order to prepare properly for them.

    DMV hearings are a completely different matter than criminal court proceedings, and in terms of the criminal case, the DMV hearing is kept separated. For instance, the criminal case takes place in front of a judge that hears criminal cases, and the defendant has to defend his case to prevent punitive punishment, incarceration or a combination of the two. The DMV hearing takes place in front of an officer trained to mediate the hearings, and the DMV mediator has the responsibility of deciding when, if or how long the driver’s license gets suspended.

    In addition to the differences in court officers and other small punitive differences, the DMV court has another major difference in that there are no formal rules of evidence. At least you get the opportunity to get proper representation from a San Diego DUI lawyer for either of the proceedings. As you may have guessed, it is advised to seek competent counsel for both of the courts considering how much is at stake for both.

    As far as DMV proceedings go, you are facing consequences, and many of them are expensive and earth shaking. For starters, you face serious consequences in a DMV hearing, which is at least one thing the DMV and judicial hearings have in common. The DMV proceedings seem to be a little more drug out than the regular criminal court proceedings.

    When you make the first call to a DMV office concerning the hearing, the DMV will let you know that since you called they will show you a great deal of mercy by putting a stay on you temporary license, so you are still able to drive, at least to and from the DMV and criminal hearings. Since this means you are one step closer and ready to take on both the DMV and the criminal court system, the DMV will send you a hearing date at the same time they place a stay on your temporary license. Finally, at least for this area, the DMV will issue you a hearing date.

    The only thing the “stay” on your license means is that it is temporary. Whether it stays temporary or not is up to the DMV. The one positive thing is that you are still able to legally drive, at least until your date in DMV court or criminal court, depending on what comes first. Being controlled the by both the DMV and the court system is not the only problem. Everything appears to be acceptable, maybe not great, but acceptable. The events that follow are unpredictable, and that is because the DMV randomly picks a hearing date, and they let you know when it is via traditional mail. That day you could have other responsibilities and commitments, your representation could have a conflict of interest, perhaps the motion for discovery has not yet produced the discovery and all the while you probably still have a pending criminal case. One of these factors can greatly affect your DMV hearing, but you have them all to worry about and anticipate.

    Any lawyer worth a darn will warn you to wait for your criminal hearing and have the DMV hearing first. Also, this allows your lawyer to go over your discovery line by line. The discovery is full of information about you and the case, and it may or may not be full of evidence. For example, the discovery contains the results of any breathalyzers, blood or urine tests. Additionally, it contains the police report too. This all helps the state determine whether or not they need the arresting officer subpoenaed in order to testify. It also helps the prosecution decide whether or not they will call the arresting officer to the stand. Too, it helps the defense develop a defense for a powerful and credible witness like an arresting officer. Sometimes they do not even need to question an arresting officer, and sometimes they have to in order to mitigate damage done to the defendant. Finally, there are those rare times when a testifying police officer is a huge help to the surprised defense too.

    It is always smart to use the discovery to plan a full scale defense because it is a gift of knowledge to the defense. A defense lawyer or a prosecutor would be at a distinct advantage if only one side had read over a discovery. Finally, sometimes continuing a DMV hearing is not just a smart move, but it is a mandatory move.

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