California DUI DMV Hearings & Chemical Test Refusal Allegations
A California DUI charge carries serious penalties, especially when combined with a chemical test refusal allegation. A person who is charged with a DUI not only faces prosecution in criminal court, but also potentially more immediate action by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV Administrative Per Se (APS) law automatically suspends or revokes the driving privileges of anyone charged with a California DUI after 30 from the date of the arrest unless they request an Administrative Per Se DMV hearing within the limited window of 10 days of their arrest. Even then, they must effectively challenge the DUI charge to avoid losing their driver's license. An acquittal or reduced charges in the criminal court may or may not have any bearing on the DMV's decision.
Losing your right to drive in California can have significant effects on your personal as well as professional life, but knowing what to expect at the DMV hearing and retaining the services of an experienced Santa Clarita defense attorney can help you both keep your right to drive and present a strong defense in criminal proceedings.
DUI DMV Hearing
A person charged with DUI only has ten days from the date of arrest to get in touch with the proper California DMV Driver Safety office in order to make a request for a hearing and stay (delay) of driver's license suspension pending the hearing officer's decision. Otherwise the right to a hearing is waived and the driver's license will automatically be suspended after 30 days.
With regard to the DMV hearing as it relates to DUI's with refusal allegations, the hearing officer will consider four factors.
- Did the officer have reason to believe that the driver was driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol?
- Was the driver lawfully arrested?
- Did the officer advise the driver of the requirement to submit to a chemical test and the consequences should the driver refuse to take or complete a chemical test?
- Did the driver willfully refuse to take or complete a chemical test?
If the hearing officer finds that the driver is in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23612 for refusing to submit to a chemical test, the DMV will impose:
- A one year driver's license suspension for a first time DUI
- A two year driver's license suspension for a second DUI within ten years, or
- A three year driver's license suspension for a third DUI within ten years.
There are additional penalties for DUI and chemical test refusals that may also be imposed upon a person if they are found guilty in criminal court. It is important for an individual to be familiar with these potential penalties as well as their legal rights.
Putting DUI Charges to Rest
Being arrested for DUI isn't the end of the world; however, a DUI conviction may certainly feel like it. Fortunately, with a skilled Santa Clarita drunk driving defense attorney on your side, you may well be able put your DUI charges behind you. At The Law Offices of Daniel E. Kann, our attorneys can potentially get the DUI and/or chemical test refusal charges being held against you reduced or dismissed altogether. For more information about how we can defend your rights, contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.