How Do You Win Your DMV Hearing In Los Angeles Related To A DUI?

The real short answer to winning a DMV hearing is to have an angle and that angle has to be sufficient to upend the DMV’s case against you so they just set it aside because they don’t feel that they can prove that you were driving under the influence of alcohol.  There’s a whole bunch of different ways to do that and they’re fact specific.

If somebody is not driving when the police get their hands on them and now the police are attempting to figure out if they were driving and when they were driving, that’s always been an angle against the DMV, to say, wait a minute.

If my client has to be driving the vehicle in order to get a DUI, of course, if you’re the only one in the middle of the freeway outside your vehicle, the police are going to surmise that you’re the one that must have driven it and they’re also going to ask you, did you drive this car?  When did you drive?  So, that’s the way the DMV will try to get out of it.  They’ll say the police have evidence that your client was driving it ten minutes earlier.

DUI Blood and Breath Tests

So, driving is definitely one of the angles — and not only driving, but you get your blood or breath taken and let’s assume for purposes of trying to figure this out that you’re over a .08 — the next question is, if I was a .08 at 10pm, what was I when I was driving?  And when was I driving?

So, that’s always another angle.  Anytime somebody is not driving their car at the time, that’s not an automatic win because the police know that’s a problem and they’re going to try to fill in the gaps for the DMV and for the court as well.  But, that’s always an angle to try to win your DMV case.

Unlawful Police Stop?

Another angle is, you have to look at what the DMV is trying to prove here and then if you could attack those things, then you’ll be in a position to try to win the case.  So, the three things the DMV always says they’re trying to prove is:  (1) was the defendant legally stopped?  Or you have to add extra onto it, because a lot of times they’re not stopped by the police.

An accident happens where everyone is outside of their vehicle talking and the police come up — that’s not a stop.  So, it goes a little bit deeper than that.  Was the person illegally stopped or did the police legally come in contact with them.  Those are the two things you’re going to look at when you’re assessing this issue of whether or not the police legally stopped you.

Legal Arrest?

The next question is, did they legally arrest you?  The DMV believes apparently that you can’t just be illegally arrested.  If you’re illegally arrested, they’ll throw the whole case out.  The problem is, that the police are going to lie or tell the truth and say that you didn’t pass the field sobriety tests.

They feel you’re not safe to drive and that’s why they’re arresting you.  If the DMV believes that and if the police can show evidence of that, then they’ll be able to get by that hurdle, but they can’t just be grabbing people for no reason.  They can’t just be pulling people over for no reason.  If you can prove that — either through video or some other form of evidence — then you can win the DMV hearing.

Blood Alcohol Level

The last thing is, your blood alcohol level has to be a .08 or greater.  If they can’t prove that your blood alcohol is a .08, they’re not going to take your driver’s license.  That happens all the time.  People get busted and blow a .07.  The DMV is not going to get them for that.  You need to be a .08 or greater.  So, if they cannot prove that you’re a .08 or greater then they’re not going to take your license away.

There is an exception to that.  If you refuse to take the test.  You see, there’s a presumption in the law that if you refuse to take the test — because driving in California is a privilege, not a right — and part of your test is they tell you that if the police think you’re drinking and driving, you must cooperate; you must take the test.

So, if you’re a refusal and the DMV can prove that and they can also prove that the police told you that if you don’t take this test then you’re going to lose your driver’s license for a year, then they can get passed that hurdle as well, even if they don’t have a .08 or greater.

The policy behind this is, if people could just say they’re not taking the test and that’s the end of it, then everybody would do that and nobody would get caught for a DUI.

So, they’re not going to allow that to happen.  I would almost say that 99% of the time, if the police are asking you take the test you should take it because on a first-time DUI for example, even if you blow over a .08 — you’re only going to lose your license for a real thirty days and you can get it back on a restricted basis; but, if you refuse to take the test you lose your license for a year with no restriction.  So, why would somebody take that risk?  It just doesn’t make any sense.

Contact our Los Angeles DUI Lawyers

I don’t like people talking to the police because they usually same something that’s going to incriminate them, but you do need to cooperate with the police, otherwise you’re going to lose your driver’s license for a year.  So, there are ways to beat the DMV as it relates to a DMV hearing, but you have to look at what they’re trying to prove.

Hedding Law Firm
Los Angeles DUI Lawyers
633 West Fifth Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071

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Immediate Driver License Suspension or Revocation Drivers Age 21 and Older

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Should I Handle My DMV Hearing Myself if Arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles?

The short answer to this question is, probably not.  Because, you’re not an attorney.  Your license is at stake, and obviously, if you live in Los Angeles you need your driver’s license.

So, unless you’re trained on how to deal with the DMV, then you probably want to let an attorney handle that and since you’re probably going to need an attorney for your criminal court case, you might as well just let the attorney deal with both — that way you know your license and your criminal record are in the best hands possible.

Just to give you an idea of kind of how the DMV works, the first phone call is made.  They have a bunch of people answering the phones over there and they don’t really care about you and trying to help you, in my experience.  A lot of times people claimed that they called the DMV, and then the DMV claims they never got a call.  If you don’t call within ten days, you automatically lose your driver’s license.

Communicating with the DMV in Los Angeles

So, then you put yourself in the position of having to try to convince the DMV that you did call them when they’re looking at their computer system and saying that you didn’t call them.  I see that happen all the time with people, so that’s your first hurdle — even communicating and dealing with a huge bureaucracy like the Department of Motor Vehicles in Los Angeles.  Your attorney is able to call in there.  They have an attorney line.

When I call in there, they know who we are because we’ve dealt with them before.  We send them a letter.  We fax it and get a date stamp on it saying that we represent you.  We want a stay on any suspension and we want a DMV hearing.  We’re covered.

So, having a DUI attorney right from the beginning is important.  After that, they’re going to set a hearing and they’re going to send you all the paperwork.  Now, you have to try to defend yourself in the hearing.  That’s going to be awkward because the DMV hearing officer is entitled to ask you questions.

They’re going to be asking you questions like, did you have any drinks that night?  Any alcohol?  How much did you have?  They’re going to be asking you a bunch of questions that’s going to cause you to incriminate yourself.  Technically, the court could use those answers against you as well to help prove the criminal case.

So, obviously your attorney can do the DMV hearing without you even testifying if that’s not something that’s in your best interest.  Whereas, you trying to do it without you testifying or saying something incriminating is a lot more difficult.

Importance of Having a DUI Lawyer

Then you’ve got the fact that the DMV is basically a kangaroo court and the DMV hearing officer wears the hats of both the prosecutor and the judge, is making rulings on all the objections, and is going to finally decide whether they themselves put on enough evidence to make the case.  So, even an attorney has the deck stacked against them in a DMV case.  You’ve got a real tough road to hoe as your own attorney.

So, you’re definitely going to want to have your attorney handle your DMV hearing in my opinion, and obviously, you want an attorney to handle your court case as well.  So, you should go in and hire an attorney.  Give them all the facts and details and let them direct and guide what happens moving forward with the DMV.

Then you’ll be in a much better position to do things the right way, get the best result, and then moving forward if your license is suspended, figuring out how you can get it back and not put yourself in a position of driving on a suspended license, looking at another criminal charge and also, potentially looking at jail time.

Contact Our DUI Lawyers for Help

So, make the call.  Hire an attorney to handle your DMV matter and do it once, do it right and never do it again. Our law firm has a long track record of success. Contact us to review the details of you case and legal options.

Hedding Law Firm
Los Angeles DUI Lawyers
633 West Fifth Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071

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DUI Arrest DMV Administrative Hearings vs Criminal Court Trials

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