The DMV Hearing: The Process & What To Expect

In some states, the DMV and the state courts both have the ability to rule against you. States such as California enable those charged with a DUI to request a DMV hearing in order to determine their license charges separate from that of the state. Usually when a hearing is requested the police have already confiscated your driver’s license as a result of your arrest. When released from jail, in states with a DMV hearing, the police should have given you a pink form regarding a temporary drivers license, or revocation order.  DO NOT THROW AWAY THIS FORM. This form is now considered your driver’s license. Your allowed to still drive with this and some form of photo ID. We advise you get this paper photo copied because it tends to fade rather quickly. A photocopy of the paper with the real paper is still valid in a majority of states. This paper license is valid for a maximum of 30-45 days depending on your state. The DMV will then give you a temporary license which indicates your suspension and your hearing date.

Many DMV’s will not inform you that with this temporary license, you are also still on probation until your DMV hearing trial date. That means if you are caught for anything no matter how miniscule (drugs or alcohol or dangerous weapons), you will be a world of trouble and can face and additional year of suspension. We also do not advise you to go and get a new license at the DMV we have had clients do this before and this is completely illegal. Your license was taken for a reason. Going to get another one right after your arrest and being caught by police or other officials may lead to additional charges.

Unlike what you may have seen on television a DMV hearing is conducted over the phone. The hearing is cut and dry. The hearing’s purpose is to identify if the stop was legal and whether you, as the operator of the vehicle were intoxicated. There is no legal arguments, no motions to suppress, no appeal process it’s simply to identify those two things. Nearly every single time you will be found to be in violation. Your attorney will likely only be able to guide you through this process and will not be able to sway the hearing in any fashion. This tends to mean you will face a 4-6-month suspension of your driver’s license. This of course can be adjusted by the higher authority of the court. Nevertheless, you will likely have to serve am minimum of 30-45 days of strict suspension. Strict or hard suspension means that you are not allowed to drive for any reason for 30-45 days. If you get caught for driving on a strict suspended license you could face up to 1 year of strict suspension, jail, 3 years’ probation, and an additional $2k fine.

Once those 30-45 days of strict suspension are completed you are allowed to drive a car, yet, it will have to have an ignition interlock device that you have to pay for. Moreover, you may have to have this device for anywhere from 4 months to a year. Some states have a requirement that your only allowed to drive to and from work so make sure to consult with your attorney about the rules of your state.

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