Beverly Hills DMV Administrative Hearing
Someone who is arrested for or charged with a DUI in the Beverly Hills area will typically have to deal with two separate actions as part of the Beverly Hills DUI Process; the criminal case which is litigated in court by prosecutors and the DMV administrative action involving the license suspension issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
Once arrested for DUI in Beverly Hills, the arresting officer will physically take away the driver's California license and provide that driver with a notice of an impending suspension scheduled to begin 30 days later. The suspension notice is given to all drivers arrested on suspicion of DUI, regardless of whether they possess a non-California, out-of-state license or if they have no license at all.
To fight the license suspension, a driver must proactively file a request with the DMV for a hearing within 10 days of his or her arrest. Failure to meet this deadline would result in an automatic and irreversible license suspension. This is why it is critical to retain skilled legal representation as soon as possible, as a knowledgeable Beverly Hills DUI attorney can ensure that all necessary DMV deadlines are met.
Many drivers may think that no action will be taken against their license until the criminal case is resolved. As a result of this misconception, these drivers may wait until a case is actually filed in court before they consider hiring legal counsel. This is not the case, however, and a person can have his or her license suspended by the DMV regardless of what happens in court if no hearing request has been filed.
A Beverly Hills DUI attorney will request that the DMV issue a stay of suspension while the hearing is pending, which would allow the driver to continue driving in the interim. In contesting the license suspension, it may be necessary to submit legal motions, issue subpoenas for documents or witnesses and even engage the services of expert witnesses in certain situations. The good news is that a driver is not penalized for fighting his or her driver's license suspension, and would face no additional penalties if the challenge is ultimately unsuccessful. If the hearing officer finds in favor of the driver, a "set aside" will be issued and no suspension will be imposed.
Even though a driver may face a license suspension as a result of both the criminal case and the DMV administrative hearing, this is not considered double jeopardy. This is because while the court action is considered to be a criminal action, the DMV suspension is only viewed as an administrative sanction.The Beverly Hills DMV Hearing
All DMV administrative hearings dealing with potential driver’s license suspensions out of the Beverly Hills region will be assigned to a hearing officer from the El Segundo Drivers Safety Branch of the Department of Motor Vehicles. The hearing officer is a DMV employee who is neither an attorney nor a judge. However, this hearing officer functions as both a prosecutor and a judge in the administrative hearing, in that they must present the evidence of the case and ultimately issue a decision based on the evidence.
During the hearing, the hearing officer will need to determine whether the DUI arrest was supported by reasonable or probable cause and whether the driver's BAC was 0.08 percent or higher while driving or if the driver refused testing. DMV administrative sanctions only apply to drivers under the influence of alcohol or those who refuse testing. If the driver is accused of driving under the influence of drugs, there would be no administrative license suspension. However, these drivers may ultimately have their license suspended if ever convicted of DUI in court.
The DMV hearing can be handled in person or telephonically, and either party may subpoena the arresting officer or other witnesses to testify or documents to present as evidence. The driver can testify on his or her own behalf. The driver does not need to participate, and their attorney can complete the hearing without them having to appear.
The results of the DMV administrative action are not binding on the criminal case and what happens in the criminal case does not control the outcome of the DMV administrative hearing. This means that someone can win his or her DMV hearing but later have their driving privileges suspended as the result of a DUI conviction in court.
If you have been arrested for a DUI offense in the Beverly Hills region, it is important that you contact a qualified Beverly Hills DUI Attorney right away. Important DMV deadlines may be missed and an attorney can make sure that all DMV filings are handled properly. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Beverly Hills DUI Lawyer Michael Kraut is highly skilled at handling all aspects of a DUI case, including the DMV administrative action.
For more information about Beverly Hills DMV administrative hearings, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Beverly Hills DUI Lawyer Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 8484 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 660B, Beverly Hills, CA 90211-3220. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 310-550-6935.