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How to Keep Your Driver’s License after a DUI in California

There are numerous consequences that can result from a California DUI arrest, but not all of them are mandatorily imposed upon each person that faces DUI criminal charges. In fact, the penalties suffered by defendants vary wildly, and those who are fully aware of the court process and have in-depth knowledge about CA DUI law have a dramatic advantage over those who do not.

Need a DUI defense lawyer to help you keep your driver’s license? Contact us today to obtain a free consultation.
One part of the DUI process that showcases this fact is the DMV hearing and whether or not a DUI suspect takes advantage of the hearing so that they can keep their driver’s license. Those facing charges for driving under the influence regularly make the mistake of believing that since their arresting officer confiscated their driver’s license during their arrest that they do not have on opportunity to reacquire it until they go to court and plead their case.

This is not true. A skilled DUI attorney can request a DUI DMV hearing at which time they may be able to convince the DMV representative that you should be allowed to keep your driver’s license. This process can be taken care of by defendants, but a skilled attorney will be able to use their in-depth knowledge of the process to help give their clients a better chance of success.

The DUI DMV Hearing

If you were arrested for driving while intoxicated in CA, your arresting officer most likely confiscated your driver’s license, issued you a temporary, and provided you with a slip (usually pink) that has information about your upcoming license suspension. The slip explains that you have 30 days to drive without any restriction, but then your license to drive will be suspended.

Despite the impression that the slip gives, defendants still have an opportunity to keep their license. By requesting a DUI DMV hearing through your local DMV driver’s safety office, you may be able to convince the hearing administrator that the arresting officers did something that they were not supposed to. If you are successful, the administrator can allow you to keep your driver’s license.

Tips to Do Well At Your Hearing

Since whether or not you will be legally allowed to drive following your DUI arrest largely depends upon your case facts and how you communicate them at your DMV hearing, it is very important to be prepared. Clients often ask me if they can do the DMV hearing over the phone. The answer is yes, but in my experience attending the hearing personally is more likely to obtain the desired results. Your legal counsel can also attend, which is beneficial for many reasons.

Defendants can succeed at the DUI hearing but still lose their driver’s license if they are convicted of a DUI in Court.  The only way to avoid any DUI repercussions is to either win both at the DMV and Court (either a dismissal of the charges or a not guilty verdict with respect to VC 23152 (b)), or win at the DMV and have the DUI case reduced to something other than a DUI in Court. Contact our DUI attorneys at (888) 250-2865 to receive more information about the process.

Here are some ways that you can be prepared for your hearing and put yourself in a good position to keep your driver’s license.

  • Attend Well-Dressed
    • First impressions do matter. If you show up looking like a bum, you are not giving the impression that you are someone who is a contributing member of society. By taking a shower and dressing nicely, your hearing administrator will be more inclined to believe that you take this process seriously and respect the person that you are talking to.
  • Show Up On Time
    • I had a family member that used to tell me “When someone does not show up on time, they are telling me that I am not as important as other things that they have to do.” No one likes to wait around and DMV hearing administrators are busy people. If you show up late, you may be meeting with someone who doesn’t like you before you walk through the door.
  • Be Prepared
    • Too often, those who attend their hearing are not prepared. Whether or not you will keep your driver’s license after your DUI has a lot to do with your handling officer’s conduct and case facts. Make sure you document your entire experience and have it ready for your hearing.

Southern California DUI Defense

If you are facing charges for driving under the influence in Southern California, obtaining experienced legal counsel can provide you with a number of benefits. Call (888) 250-2865 to obtain a free case evaluation from one of our attorneys and find out how a skilled legal professional can help you.

Having assisted more than 5,000 DUI clients with a history of success, you can count on the Law Offices of Randy Collins to provide you with superior legal representation.

In California, defendants who are facing their third charge for driving under the influence will encounter few chances and harsh penalties. A third offense DUI defendant is seen as especially dangerous by the courts and the resulting penalties are severe and have serious long-term consequences. If you have been charged with your third DUI offense in California, a qualified DUI criminal defense attorney can help defend your rights in court.

Excessive Blood Alcohol Concentration

DUI offenses in California are always misdemeanors unless one of the following is true, making it a felony.

  • If the defendant caused an accident during which someone other than themselves was injured;
  • If the defendant is charged with a fourth DUI in the next 10 years (known as the “lookback period”); or
  • If any of the defendant’s prior DUI charges are a felony, the third DUI will automatically be charged as a felony as well.
Penalties for a 3rd DUI

Third offense DUI defendants in California will face both administrative and criminal penalties. Your driver’s license will be suspended for up to three years; however, if applicable, after one year you may be eligible for a restricted license to use in limited circumstances, such as driving to work.

The criminal penalties for a third DUI offense are severe. A defendant will face a minimum of 120 days in jail, with a possible maximum sentence of one year. Jail alternatives may be available: a DUI criminal defense lawyer may be able to negotiate for a shorter time in jail in exchange for a portion of your sentence served as community service, drug and alcohol rehab or house arrest. You will also incur a minimum fine of $390; the fine may be increased to as much as $1000. You will also serve a minimum probationary period of three years with a possible maximum of five years. The judge will also order you to complete an 18-month DUI course.

The standard criminal penalties can also be increased if there are certain factors present in your DUI case. These factors are known as “enhancements” and include:

  • The DUI caused an accident
  • Hit-and-run
  • There was a minor in the car at the time
  • The defendant was driving on a suspended license
  • The defendant refused to a chemical test
  • Alcohol content was 0.15 or higher
  • The defendant was also speeding

Any one of these factors can result in an additional charge and even harsher penalties.

What to do if you have been charged with your 3rd DUI offense in California

If you have been charged with your 3rd DUI offense in California, the severe administrative and criminal penalties associated with your crime make hiring an attorney extremely important. Contact a qualified DUI criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you receive the best legal defense.

Free Case Evaluation

Those in Southern California can call the Law Offices of Randy Collins to obtain a free case evaluation. Call (888) 250-2865 today to speak with an experienced DUI attorney and get the answers you’re looking for.

Client Reviews

I had never gotten in trouble before, so I was pretty concerned when I called the Law Offices of Randy Collins. After a 30 minute consultation about my DUI with injury I felt like I was in the right hands. I went with them and was very happy with the result.

Rob D.