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DUI and Getting a Restricted License in Los Angeles

  • May 24, 2017

    It’s pretty commonly known that one major consequence of a DUI conviction is potentially losing your driver’s license. If you are like many Los Angeles residents, however, you might count on your driving privileges so that you can get back and forth to work and otherwise handle your responsibilities. Luckily, in some cases, drivers qualify for a restricted driver’s license, even after a DUI conviction.

    Do I Qualify for a Restricted License in California?

    First of all, you might be wondering if you qualify for a restricted license in California. In order for you to obtain a restricted license, you do have to have a California driver’s license. This means that if you have an out-of-state driver’s license and want to be able to drive in California, you will need to apply for a California driver’s license. Also, please remember that your home state might take action against you and restrict or suspend your driver’s license due to your conviction in Los Angeles.

    If you are under the age of 21, you should also know that you will lose your license for one full year and will not be able to get a restricted driver’s license during this time period. Drivers who refused a chemical test also lose their licenses for a period of one year, but if you request an administrative hearing within 10 days of being arrested, you can challenge the refusal allegation. If you work with a Los Angeles DUI attorney, he or she can assist you with this hearing.

    The Different Types of Restricted Licenses

    First of all, you should know that even if your DUI case ends up being dismissed or rejected, you may still face losing your license. This is because as soon as you are arrested for a DUI, information is sent to the California DMV to inform them of the situation. Since the suspension action through the DMV is actually separate from the criminal charges that have been filed against you, you may have to go to an administrative hearing in order to get your driving privileges back, even if you are not convicted of your DUI. Fortunately, this is something that an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer can help you with.

    In most cases, someone who has been convicted of a DUI for the first time in California will lose their license for four months. During the first 30 days after being convicted, you probably will not be able to drive. However, after that period is over, you can get a restricted driver’s license that can be used to drive back and forth to your job and to any alcohol education classes that you might be required to take. If you want to qualify for this restricted license, you will need to obtain SR-22 insurance, sign up for an alcohol education class and show proof of doing so and pay a reinstatement fee.

    You may also be able to qualify for a restricted driver’s license that will allow you to drive anywhere and at any time, but to qualify for this, you will need to have an Ignition Interlock Device, or in-car breathalyzer machine, installed in your vehicle. This restriction generally lasts for five months, although it can take longer if it takes you longer than five months to complete your alcohol education classes.

    If you are facing a DUI, you need a team of Los Angeles DUI lawyers to help you through the process. Luckily, we can help. If you contact us, an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney can sit down with you to talk to you about your case and the potential for getting a restricted license.

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