California DUI Driver's License Issues
Many people who are arrested for DUI worry about how it will affect their ability to drive. The reality is that a DUI conviction can affect you license in a number of ways. A person who is convicted of DUI is considered by lawmakers to be a high risk driver. As such, the courts want to make sure that they do not commit a repeat offense. Driver's license are often suspended after a DUI both to serve as punishment and to make sure the defendant has a chance to get DUI education before they are allowed to drive again. The stipulations for license reinstatement usually require the following:
- A certain period of time to pass
- A fine or reinstatement fee to be paid
- Proof that a DUI education program was completed
- Proof that you have proper liability auto insurance
There are a number of license issues that a DUI charge can lead to. Some of the most common are discussed below.
Common California DUI License Topics
Administrative License Suspension: When you are arrested for suspicion of DUI in California, the officer will take your license and give you a temporary license that will expire in 30 days. If you do not act right away, your license will be suspended after those 30 days for up to 3 months. This referred to as administrative license suspension because this process is done through the DMV as an administrative process. The only way to challenge this type of suspension is to request a hearing with the DMV. DUI
License Suspension Penalties: When a person is convicted of DUI in California, the court automatically moves to suspend their driver's license. This process is not sentenced by a judge but part of an automatic penalty under California vehicle code 13352(a)(1). A driver convicted of DUI in California will face up to 6 months of license suspension for a first time conviction, up to one year for a second conviction and up to 3 years for a third conviction.
Implied Consent Violation: The final way that license suspension can occur is if you refused a chemical sobriety test during a DUI arrest. Under California's implied consent law a driver must submit to a State administered chemical blood, breath or urine test when asked by police who have reasonable suspicion that you may be intoxicated. If you refuse these tests, you violate implied consent and will be subject to license suspension. The only defense to suspension is to argue that the officer never informed you of this law when you refused the test.
DMV Hearing: In order to fight administrative license suspension, you can request a hearing with the California DMV. You only have ten days after a DUI arrest to request such a hearing and it is your only chance to challenge your arrest in front of the DMV. A DMV hearing takes place in front of a DMV administrator, not a judge or jury. You are only allowed to argue that the stop was invalid or that the arrest was unfounded. The results of a DMV hearing do not affect your criminal case.
Driving on a Suspended License: Many DUI offenders choose to continue driving even after their licenses have been suspended. If they are caught doing this, they will face charges for driving on a suspended or revoked license. This is a serious offense and can lead to mandatory jail time as well as longer periods of license suspension.
License Reinstatement: After you license suspension period is up, steps still must be taken to get your license back. The DMV will not simply mail you a new license after a certain period of time. Fees must be paid and completion of the terms of your sentence must be proven. In many cases you will also have to show proof of proper insurance (SR-22 form). Before you are eligible for reinstatement, you may be able to get a temporary work-restricted license.
California DUI License Suspension Assistance
The best way to avoid these issues with your driver's license is to avoid conviction altogether. An experienced attorney can help you fight your charges and clear your name. Our DUI professionals can also help you get a temporary license or get your license returned to you as soon as possible. We are experienced in all areas of California criminal law and know the best way to handle your case.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be eligible for a work restricted license right away. If you have been arrested for DUI in Los Angeles or anywhere in Southern California and are concerned about how it will affect your ability to drive, call our office right away. Our attorneys will be able to answer all of you questions and more. Call now for a free consultation.