You’ve just been arrested in Orange County, California for driving under the influence. What happens next?
The most time-sensitive matter you need to address is the DMV Administrative Per Se (APS), hearing. You have ten days from the date you are arrested to request this hearing, in writing.
What many people don’t know is that when you are arrested for DUI, if you fail the blood, breath or urine test, meaning that you had a .08 or higher blood alcohol level, your driving privilege in California is automatically suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The length of the suspension depends upon whether it was your first arrest for DUI and, whether you were under the age of 21 years at the time.
Once you request your APS hearing with the DMV, your license suspension is “stayed” meaning that you may continue to drive pending the outcome of the hearing. Requesting a hearing with the DMV is completely different than the Court hearing which you will eventually be required to attend.
The DMV is very strict and basically just wants to know whether or not you were driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. They do not negotiate. However, there are situations where the DMV sides with the driver and overturns the suspension. This only happens in very specific instances. For example, if you can prove that you were not driving and had not driven the car you were in. Or, if the police officer’s report is inaccurate or the officer’s testimony conflicts with his report. There is also the rare instance where an officer fails to turn in the paperwork to the DMV or fails to appear at the hearing. There are other situations but each case/report needs to be reviewed carefully to determine whether or not there is a chance at over-tuning the suspension.
Completely different and apart from the DMV hearing is the Court hearing. After you were arrested, you were most likely given a piece of paper with the date, time and location of your court date. You must appear at this hearing or a bench warrant for your arrest will be issued. However, you do not need to attend if you have hired an attorney to represent you. Most DUI’s are misdemeanors, which means you may have an attorney appear for you at each hearing, all the way through to its conclusion. For some, hiring an attorney to handle their matter is worth it just so that that they will never have to appear in court. For some, it is because they can’t or don’t want to miss time from work. For others, they feel embarrassed and would rather have an attorney go to court and take care of it for them. Most DUI’s can be handled without the person every having to step foot inside of the courthouse. This is motivation for many and reduces the amount of stress associated with the arrest and consequences that are associated with a conviction for DUI.
For more information regarding DMV hearings or your arrest for DUI, feel free to contact William Weinberg at 949-474-8008 or visit my DUI website at http://dui.williamweinberg.com.