Administrative hearings form one of the most potent cluster of laws regarding your driving privilege in California, as an Orange County APS hearings lawyer understands. Signed into law in 1990, the group of laws affects anyone arrested for DUI who does one of the following:
- Takes a chemical test (either breath or blood) which shows a BAC of .08 or higher,
- .04% if driving a commercial vehicle or;
- .01% if the driver is on DUI probation.
- If the driver refuses to submit to a chemical test, the driver would be affected as well.
Sometimes, if the officer suspects the driver is under the influence of drugs, either prescription or illegal, then the driver must submit to a blood test.What About My Driver's License?
If the officer arrested you, he will give you an Order of Suspension. It grants a temporary license for 30 days and then your license goes into suspension. Understand that this action is independent of any court action.
The DMV will conduct an administrative review of the officer's actions. It will review his report and any other documents associated with your arrest. If there is no basis for the arrest, you will receive your license back.What is the APS Hearing?
What can the driver do? If you read the very small print in the middle of the Order of Suspension, you'll see that you have 10 days to request a hearing. You have a right to see the evidence against you if you ask for it. At the hearing you can testify and call witnesses to challenge the evidence against you. You also may subpoena witnesses, including the arresting officer. This is an important right, as the DMV rarely brings the officer in, instead relying on his reports. An APS hearings lawyer in Orange County can help you protect your rights.What are the DMV Hearing Issues?
- Did the officer have reasonable cause to think you were driving a vehicle in violation of the various DUI statutes?
- Were you lawfully stopped while on DUI probation?
- Were you lawfully arrested?
- Was your BAC at or above the limits described above?
- If you refused the chemical test, were you told that doing so would result in a one, two or three year suspension for your refusal?
Typically, there is a four-month suspension for a first offense.
If you had a prior suspension within the last ten years, the penalty is a one-year suspension.
If you were on DUI probation, then you can't get a restricted license during the one-year suspension period.
A refusal equals a one year suspension, two years if there was a prior refusal and three years if two priors. It is important to consult an APS hearings attorney in Orange County so that you can try to avoid a license suspension.What are My Options if My License is Suspended?
You can get a noncommercial restricted license if:
This is your first offense and you completed a chemical test and the results showed a BAC of .04% while operating a commercial vehicle or .08% and you were 21 years old or older and your driving privilege was not suspended or revoked for some other reason.
You may get a restricted license on a second offense after serving 90 days of hard suspension and enrolling in an alcohol program, unless there were drugs in your system at the time of the arrest.
There are many nuances to DUI administrative laws. Feel free to call me to discuss any questions you may have with an Orange County APS hearings attorney.