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

  • By: Ronald D. Hedding
  • Published: November 26, 2018

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.

Related Resources:
DUI Arrest DMV Administrative Hearings vs Criminal Court Trials

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Ronald D. Hedding

About the Author Named Top Los Angeles DUI Defence Attorney by LA Times and named one
of the Top 100 DUI Defence attorneys in California by the National Trial
Lawyers Association. I'm the attorney other lawyers hire to defend them.