Frequently Asked Questions


What is a DMV Hearing?

California DMV hearings are separate from court proceedings that may also be associated with your case.  The DMV hearing is an administrative function done through the California Department of Motor Vehicles.  The hearing determines what happens with your driver’s license privileges.  A DMV hearing is different from a court case, which will be handled separately.  In order to protect your driving privilege you must request a DMV hearing as well as deal with the Court case.
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What Can Happen to My Driver’s License?

The results of the DMV hearing will determine the outcome of your driver’s license status.  There are specific consequences that are based on the details of your case.  If you do not request a hearing or if you lose your hearing your license will be suspended for a certain period of time.  The DMV is responsible for the administration of your driver’s license.  License suspension is the action that is taken if you do not request or lose California DMV hearings.  The length of the suspension will depend on many factors including whether this is the first offense or you have priors.

What Can I Do If I Need to Drive to Work?

In some cases, and under certain conditions driving privileges can be given to allow you to drive related to your job.  If this is the case, you will be provided with a provisional license.  You must adhere to these provisions or your driver’s license will be revoked.  An attorney can help you secure a provisional license following a DMV hearing.

Is a DMV Hearing Automatic?

No.  You must request a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest.  Failure to request a DMV hearing will result in the suspension of your driver’s license.  Your attorney can request the DMV hearing and will attend the hearing with you and/or on your behalf.  The hearing takes place to determine whether any action is warranted to be taken against your driver’s license.  Failure to request a DMV hearing will result in the immediate suspension of your license.

Do I Need An Attorney For A DMV Hearing?

Yes.  An experienced attorney will present your case and fight for your driving rights at the DMV hearing.  Our experienced attorneys understand the process and know the best way to assist in this important hearing in order to fight for a favorable outcome. DUI hearings are important; don’t face them alone.

What are the DUI Penalties in California?

Penalties for Driving Under the Influence Conviction

First DUI Offense

  • Jail Sentence (up to 6 months)
  • Fines beginning at $1,000
  • Suspension of Driver’s License for 6 months
  • Attend Driver’s Program

Second Offense (if within ten years of previous offense)

  • Up to 1 Year Jail Sentence
  • Fines beginning at $1,000
  • Driver’s License Suspension for 2 years
  • Attend Driver’s Program

Third and forth offenses include additional punishments and longer jail sentences.  In the case of an accident with injury or death, other penalties may apply.

What Happens In The Criminal Court?

DUI charges are considered criminal charges and will be addressed through a criminal court case.  During the case you will have a chance to present your defense.  It is essential to attain an experienced DUI attorney to provide the best possible defense to the criminal charges.  Many things will be taken into consideration and addressed by your attorney during the pre-trial proceedings and when appropriate, at trial.  The case may result in either, a dismissal, an acquittal, a conviction or a reduction to a lesser offense. Your attorney will fully investigate the case, review all the details and assist you in making an informed decision in determining the best way to proceed.

Will I Get My License Back If I’m Acquitted?

If the Criminal Court Case results in an acquittal, the administrative suspension of your driver’s license will be reversed and your license will be reinstated.  If, however, you have been found guilty of lesser charges, your driving privileges may still be affected.  Under some circumstances obtaining a reduced charge can lead to setting aside the administrative suspension of your driver’s license privileges. The suspension of your driver’s license by the DMV’s administrative proceeding is separate from your court case and may still be in effect despite a reduction of charges against you or dismissal of your court case.

How Can I Learn More About California DUI and DMV Hearings?

The most important thing to do after being arrested for DUI is to meet with and retain an experienced DUI attorney.  Your attorney will review your case and provide you with answers to your specific questions.  Your lawyer will also explain the process to you so you will understand what to expect throughout the process and make informed decisions along the way.   Contact our law firm today for a consultation.

Related Information:

California DUI : An Overview

California DUI: The Arraignment Process

California DUI: Booking and Bail

California DUI: The Arrest Process

California Drunk Driving Prosecution Overview