License Suspension in Los Angeles
Reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney
The DMV will seek to suspend your license if you are arrested for
Driving Under the Influence. In the past, both the court and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
could order driver's license suspensions. Now, only the Department
of Motor Vehicles can suspend a license, either because of a
DMV hearing suspension or a criminal court conviction. In other words, even if the
jury finds you not guilty, the DMV may still decide to suspend your license.
After you are arrested for DUI, you have 10 days to request a hearing.
This hearing is known as an “administrative per se” hearing,
or APS. They are held at the DMV offices nearest to where the offense
occurred. Unlike court trials, which involve live witness testimony, the
DMV hearing will focus on the various police and chemical test reports.
Generally, live witnesses are rarely called unless your attorney requests
their appearance by issuing a subpoena.
A unique aspect of the DMV hearing is that it is not a court of law. Therefore,
the DMV representative is both the “prosecutor” and the judge.
In other words, the individual seeking to introduce evidence is the same
person who will rule upon it. Much of the evidence introduced at the administrative
per se hearing is hearsay. Your
Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can object on these grounds. Since this hearing is not in a court of law,
however, but rather an administrative hearing, the representative will
rely on this hearsay evidence.
Los Angeles DUI Lawyer
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Decio Rangel Jr. have found the best
mode of attack is to challenge to basis for the stop and the actions of
the law enforcement officer during the arrest. Some of the issues raised
at a hearing may include:
- Were you driving the vehicle?
- Were you legally stopped by the officer?
- Were you legally arrested by the officer?
- Did you take a test and was it done properly under the law?
- Did you have a blood alcohol level above the legal limit?
If you took a chemical test, there are three issues at stake: 1) whether
the officer had a reasonable belief that you were under the influence,
2) whether the arrest was lawful, and 3) whether a properly conducted
chemical test indicated that the driver had a BAC of above the legal limit.
When you are licensed in the State of California, your consent to take
a chemical test is implied. If you refuse a chemical test, it must be
determined whether you were advised of the consequences of refusing the
test, and whether you still refused the test after being advised of the
consequences. If you lose the DMV hearing, the length of the license suspension
will be substantially longer if you refused the test.
The arresting officer is required by law to immediately send to the DMV
a copy, with a sworn report, of the notice of suspension or revocation
and any driver’s license taken into
possession. The DMV automatically conducts an administrative review that includes
an examination of the officer's report, the suspension or revocation
order, and any test results. If the suspension or revocation is upheld
during the administrative review, you may request a hearing to contest
Your driver’s license will be returned to you at the end of the suspension
or revocation period provided you pay a reissue fee to the DMV and you
file proof of financial responsibility. If it is determined that there
is no basis for suspending or revoking your license, it will be issued
or returned to you.
If your California driver's license has been suspended due to a DUI,
it will be reinstated after the suspension period has elapsed. The length
of the suspension will vary depending on whether the offense was a first
time offense, or you have
As mentioned above, the DMV may suspend your license for a longer period
of time if you refused to take a chemical test. It becomes imperative
to fight the case in both the DMV hearing and in court to have the best
opportunity to avoid losing your right to drive.
For help fighting to retain your driving privileges,
contact a Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer