DMV License Suspensions in Some DUI Cases Questioned

Critics contend state DMV should not be able to suspend licenses if individuals have their DUI cases dismissed.

A DUI conviction in California carries some strong penalties, which includes the possibility of a license suspension. Those charged with the crime might take very aggressive measures to offer up a defense against these allegations, but, some of these penalties may be handed down no matter what ends up happening in the criminal case.

While most people are aware of the state’s implied consent laws, which result in an automatic license suspension if an individual refuses to submit to a blood or breath test if requested by law enforcement, there are other procedures in place that may impact a person’s driving privileges. In California, there is a provision in the law that lets the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issue a license suspension in DUI cases.

When the DMV receives a report that an individual has been arrested for DUI, the agency will review the information and decide whether or not to issue a license suspension. Individuals may request a hearing with the agency and plead their case as to why their licenses should not be suspended, but this can be an uphill climb.

This license suspension may happen even if the offender is not charged with DUI in the courts. The criminal case has no impact upon the license suspension determination. If the hearing officer with the DMV determines that the evidence supports the DUI allegations, a suspension will be handed down.

This particular practice has come under scrutiny lately, as lawsuits have been filed against the agency to reverse this practice. Critics contend the agency is biased against motorists, as there is relatively little that drivers can do to contest the findings made by the DMV. The agency reports that the only time it factors the court case into its decision is if the individual is actually acquitted of the offense.

If you have been arrested for a DUI in California, it is essential that you take immediate action to protect your rights and driving privileges. You should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to learn what you need to do in your specific situation.

While you may have had little experience dealing with law enforcement or prosecutors, you cannot let them pressure you into making a bad decision. You do have steps that you can take that can ensure you have an opportunity to present your side of the story. If you plead guilty, you could be looking at consequences that could follow you for the rest of your life.