Many people are unaware that an arrest for driving under the influence in California will trigger two separate legal proceedings. Most people are aware that a DUI arrest will result in a criminal proceeding, however what most people do not realize is that a DUI arrest also triggers a DMV proceeding.
Following a DUI arrest, you will have 10 days from the date of arrest to contact the DMV to schedule a hearing, known as an administrative per se (APS) hearing. A DMV APS hearing deals specifically with your driving privileges and the circumstances surrounding your arrest. You are not obligated to have an APS hearing, however, if you do not request for a hearing within 10 days, you will waive your right to have a hearing, and your driver license will automatically be suspended in 30 days from the date of your arrest.
How Is The DMV APS Hearing Different From The Criminal Court Proceeding?
Unlike the criminal court proceeding, the DMV APS hearing does not determine whether you are innocent or guilty of a criminal act beyond a reasonable doubt. The DMV APS hearing is only concern with your driving privileges and whether or not to suspend your driver license. The DMV suspension of your driver’s license is purely an administrative action and is independent of any court-imposed penalty.
If you submitted a blood or breath test following a DUI arrest, then the DMV needs to prove the following three elements at in order to suspend your driver license:
- Did the officer have reasonable cause to believe you were driving a motor vehicle in violation of Vehicle Code Section 23140, 23152 , or 23153?
- Were you placed under lawful arrest?
- At the time of driving did you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more?
The DMV must prove all three elements by the preponderance of the evidence, which means more likely than not, in order to suspend your driving privileges. You must prevail on at least one of the three elements in order to win your DMV hearing. There are several defenses to attack the DMV’s evidence and win a DMV hearing. Our experienced DUI defense attorneys can provide you with skilled representation at your DMV APS hearing and defend your rights against a driver’s license suspension.
Contact our office at (619) 298-6026 for a free consultation or Contact Us to discuss your case and find out how we can help you avoid a driver’s license suspension.