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The Importance of Proper Preparation for a Los Angeles DMV Hearing

  • September 1, 2017

    There are a number of reasons that you may end up facing a DMV hearing regarding your driver’s license. You may face a DMV hearing because of a DUI charge, points on your license, or even a medical reason. Preparing for the hearing can make all the difference. For a DUI, you have only 10 days to request a hearing.

    Whatever the reason for the hearing, the hearing officer is listening for reasons to deny you a license. They also want to hear reasons that they should grant you a license. This means coming in with real, solid evidence about why the hearing officer should rule in your favor. It isn’t enough just to tell the hearing officer that you need a license. You have to convince the hearing officer that the law applies in your favor based on the evidence that exists in the case.

    DMV hearing after a DUI

    If you’re facing a DMV hearing because of an arrest for DUI, you have to be prepared to show that there are errors in the state’s case. In the DUI case in court, you don’t have to prove anything. Rather, it’s up to the state to prove the case against you. In the DMV hearing the tables are essentially reversed. You’re going to have to show that the action against you is incorrect.

    In cases where the test for alcohol comes back at less than a .08, you may be in the clear. Otherwise, you need solid evidence for the hearing officer that the reading is incorrect. You don’t have a lot of time to get this evidence together, but it’s important to build your case.

    Constitutional issues

    In addition to showing that the chemical test result in your case may be invalid, the hearing can also address constitutional issues. You might argue that law enforcement didn’t have a lawful reason to stop your vehicle. They must be able to say why they suspected that you were a drunk driver.

    This goes along with making sure that you were lawfully detained. The police can’t keep people for investigations indefinitely and without a good reason. Instead, they can only investigate the case at hand. If the hearing officer believes that the police violated your constitutional rights, they may throw out the license suspension in your case.

    However, it’s up to you to present the arguments to the hearing officer. There may be previous cases that you can point to that show the hearing officer how the police made errors in your case. You may need to point the hearing officer to California cases or even federal cases to make your arguments. Having these arguments prepared can mean the difference between success and disappointment.

    Other issues

    There are other unique issues that might be present in your case. It’s important to arrive at the hearing knowing what evidence applies to your case. You have to know this information so that you can prepare the appropriate response.

    For example, if you’re on DUI probation, the limit for you is lower. In that case, you can face a suspension if your chemical test result shows any alcohol at all. If you’re driving a commercial vehicle, you also have a lower alcohol limit for purposes of your DMV hearing.

    If you refused a test

    You may face a license suspension if you refuse a chemical test. In that case, the administrative hearing officer looks to see if law enforcement read you your chemical test rights. You may be able to argue that law enforcement didn’t properly warn you that may lose your driver’s license if you don’t take the chemical test. If it’s true that law enforcement didn’t warn you properly, you may win your hearing. You need to be ready to argue this point.

    A restricted license

    Depending on the nature of your suspension, you may be able to receive a restricted license. If you’re going to ask for a restricted license, you have justify that you deserve it. You may need to show that you’ve enrolled in a rehabilitation program for first offenders. You need to make sure that you follow all of the requirements in order to receive the restricted license. Your attorney can help you understand how to gather what you need. They can also help you understand the terms of your suspension or restriction.

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