Frequently Asked Questions 2017-08-29T19:30:54+00:00

Anaheim, CA, USA – November 23, 2013: A DUI check point conducted by the Anaheim Police Dept.

I’ve just been arrested for DUI. What happens now?

The officer is required by law to immediately forward a copy of the completed notice of suspension or revocation form and any driver license taken into possession, with a sworn report to the DMV. 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 the suspension or revocation.

You have the right to request a hearing from the DMV within 10 days of receipt of the suspension or revocation order. If the review shows there is no basis for the suspension or revocation, the action will be set aside. You will be notified by the DMV in writing only if the suspension or revocation is set aside following the administrative review.

Source DMV 2017

There are very important issues here.

  1.  Did the officer give you the “pink” slip when he took your license?
  2.  NEVER, EVER conduct your own DMV hearing.  Anything that you say at that hearing can be used against you. It is recorded and can be subpoenaed by the district attorney’s office.  
  3.  The DMV hearing officer who will conduct your hearing takes the role of the “prosecutor” and the “judge”.  
  4.  The Public Defenders provided to you by the court do not conduct DMV hearings.  You don’t automatically have the right to an attorney with the DMV because it is an administrative action and not a criminal one.   

At the time of my arrest, the officer confiscated my driver license. How do I get it back?

Your driver license will be returned to you at the end of the suspension or revocation, provided you pay a $125 reissue fee to the DMV and you file proof of financial responsibility. The reissue fee remains at $100 if you were under age 21 and were suspended under the Zero Tolerance Law pursuant to Vehicle Code §§23136, 13353.1, 13388, 13392. If it is determined that there is not a basis for the suspension or revocation, your driver license will be issued or returned to you.

Souce DMV 2017

This isn’t the whole story. A conviction will require additional costly license restrictions.  SPEAK TO AN EXPERIENCED ATTORNEY.  

The officer stated I refused to take a chemical test. What does this mean?

You are required by law to submit to a chemical test to determine the alcohol and/or drug content of your blood. You did not submit to or complete a blood or breath test after being requested to do so by a peace officer. As of January 1999, a urine test is no longer available unless:

  • The officer suspects you were driving under the influence of drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol, or
  • Both the blood or breath tests are not available, or
  • You are a hemophiliac, or
  • You are taking anticoagulant medication in conjunction with a heart condition.

Source DMV 2017

If it can be proved by the officer that you refused a test once you get to the jail or station, you can lose your license for a year for the first refusal, 2 years for a second offense in 10 years and 3 years for a third offense in 10 years.

How is the DMV suspension or revocation for the DUI arrest different from the suspension or revocation following my conviction in criminal court?

The DMV suspension or revocation is an immediate administrative action taken against your driving privilege only. This is called Administrative Per Se (APS). Any sanctions imposed by DMV under APS are independent of any court-imposed jail sentence, fine, or other criminal penalty imposed when a person is convicted for driving under the influence (DUI).

The suspension or revocation following a conviction in court is a mandatory action for which jail, fine, or other criminal penalty can be imposed.

Source DMV 2017

The court will suspend your license as well as the DMV.  An experienced attorney will get the suspensions to run concurrently.

Can I represent Myself on a DUI or Do I really need an Attorney?

You have a constitutional right to represent yourself in any criminal matter.  The real question should be “Should I represent myself in my criminal matter?”  Representing yourself can have very serious consequences. Even attorneys know not to represent themselves.

When you’re in court without an attorney, remember this:
 The District Attorney publicizes her conviction rate at every election, you are just another conviction to her.

  1.  The Judge is not allowed to see the police report.  He can’t tell you if the the stop was lawful, if the PAS device was calibrated, if the Intoxilizer at the Jail was calibrated, or if the blood was drawn and tested properly.

My advice to you is as follows:
If you can afford an attorney, hire one.
If you can’t afford an attorney and paying the attorney would take food off the table, get a Public Defender.
Please, please do not represent yourself.


What kind of attorney do I need?

It is crucial that you hire an attorney that practices exclusively in criminal defense and has the experience of representing thousands of clients. I have represented well over 10,000 individuals charged with a DUI for the past 19 years.

Will I have to go back to jail?

The District Attorneys in Northern California have taken much harsher stances regarding DUI’s.  Their offers at plea bargains start at ridiculous lengths of time in jail.  If you have a prior DUI within 10 years you’ll be facing mandatory jail time.  You will need an aggressive attorney to fight the charges or negotiate the length of time.

Will I lose my driving privilege?

In order to retain your driving privilege it is imperative that your attorney contact the California Department of Motor Vehicles within ten (10) days to ensure a temporary stay on the suspension of your California Driver Licence.  That means that your license will not be automatically suspended 30 days after the arrest and that your license is good until after the DMV hearing.

When you are arrested for a DUI, the arresting agency will retain your license and provide you with a pink temporary license. It is only valid for 30 days from the date of arrest. Again, that’s why you need to hire an attorney within the first 10 days of the arrest.  Your attorney will contact DMV, schedule a hearing, request discovery and get a stay on the suspension.

If the arresting agency took your license and didn’t give you a pink slip, let your attorney know immediately.