Los Angeles County Superior Court proceedings are not the only method through which California punishes those who are arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol, or drugs, or both. There are also separate administrative proceedings through the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The first step in this process is the confiscation or taking of your driver’s license at the time of your arrest. At that time, the officer also gives you a pink temporary license and a Notice of Suspension that informs you that a hearing must be requested within 10 days. Requesting a hearing gives you and your attorney the opportunity to contest the suspension or revocation of your license. This DMV hearing process is separate from your criminal court case, and it affects the status of your driver’s license, your right to drive, as well as your wallet with DMV fees and insurance rates.
The hearing itself is conducted by a Driver Safety Hearing Officer, who serves both as prosecutor and judge, and the hearing may occur in person or over the phone. Mark Rosenfeld prefers to handle the hearings in person. However, it is usually not necessary for his clients to attend the hearings if it would be disruptive to their schedule. At the hearing, your attorney is permitted to make legal objections to the Department’s evidence, as well as submit evidence and testimony to show why your license should not be suspended. After the hearing, the Officer will make a determination to uphold the suspension or set-aside and void the suspension altogether. Having an attorney present at your DMV hearing is imperative to give you the best possible chance of getting your license back as soon as possible.
Following the hearing, you and your attorney will be provided with a copy of the written decision made by the Driver Safety Hearing Officer. Should the decision not be in your favor, there are options. Your attorney can request that the DMV transfer the file to a supervisor and have a internal review of the Hearing Officer’s decision. This review must be requested within 15 days of the effective date of the decision. The review will be conducted by a different Hearing Officer in the DMV from the one at your hearing. You also have the right to appeal the decision in California Superior Court, which is a civil court separate from the DMV or the Criminal Court proceedings.
If you or a member of your family have had your license suspended, contact DUI Attorney Mark Rosenfeld for a free consultation. His years of experience will be at your disposal. Mark has been successfully defending clients and saving drivers licenses in DMV hearings at the regional Driver Safety branch offices in the City of Commerce, El Segundo, and Van Nuys as well as satellite offices throughout Los Angeles County for years. Call (310) 424-3145 now to set up an appointment and ensure that your rights are preserved.