Los Angeles DUI: Administrative Suspension vs. Court Suspension

Los Angeles DUI Attorney

DMV hearing For drivers who have been arrested for driving under the influence, one of the most confusing aspects of the DUI process involves the DMV administrative license suspension and the potential court license suspension. Many people do not realize that a DUI incident will trigger two potential license suspensions that operate independently of each other. Understanding the difference between the two suspensions is critical for anyone facing a DUI charge.

When a driver is arrested on suspension of DUI, the officer will take away his or her license and will provide a notice of a suspension that would go into effect 30 days after the arrest. This is the DMV administrative suspension that operates independently of the court system. This suspension will automatically go into effect unless the driver requests an administrative hearing to challenge the basis for the suspension. A hearing request must be made within ten days of the incident or else the driver will be deemed to have waived his or her right to a hearing.

The administrative hearing would be assigned to a DMV hearing officer who is neither a judge nor an attorney. After considering the evidence, the hearing officer will determine whether to reinstate or set aside the suspension. It should be noted that the administrative suspension will only be imposed on drivers who are found to have a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher or those who refuse chemical testing. Drivers who are discovered to have drugs in their system will generally have the suspension set aside, even though they can still be charged criminally with driving under the influence of drugs.


Even if drivers win the DMV Administrative Per Se hearing and have their license suspensions set aside, they may still face a license suspension as a result of what transpires in court. Whenever a driver is convicted of DUI in court, the conviction will be communicated to the DMV who will automatically issue a driver’s license suspension as a result of that conviction. This suspension is only triggered when a driver is convicted of DUI under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 VC or DUI Causing Injury under California Vehicle Code Section 23153 VC. It is not triggered when a driver is convicted of a reduced charge, such as wet reckless under California Vehicle Code Section 23103/23103.5 VC, dry reckless under California Vehicle Code Section 23103 VC or exhibition of speed pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23109(c) VC.

First time DUI defendants who did not refuse testing and who are 21 or older are typically eligible for a restricted license after serving a 30 day “hard” suspension during which they cannot drive at all. A driver only has to complete the 30 day hard suspension once. This means that if a driver is convicted in court and has already served his or her 30 day suspension, the court will not require an additional 30 days and the driver would immediately be eligible for a restricted license. In Los Angeles County, drivers convicted of DUI would be able to get a restricted license once they have installed an Ignition Interlock Device in their vehicles. The IID is required because Los Angeles is one of four counties participating in the DMV Ignition Interlock Pilot Program.

If you have been arrested for DUI and want more information about potential administrative and court license suspensions, it is imperative that you consult with a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Attorney Michael Kraut understands the nuances of DUI-related suspensions and can help his clients navigate this confusing area of the law.

For more information about Los Angeles DUI administrative and court suspensions, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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Michael Kraut is outstanding! He genuinely cared about my case and instructed my mom and I throughout the entire process. He was very clear on what he needed in order to receive the best results. He kept us updated until the end. I thank him so much for getting my charges rejected. I highly recommend him to anyone with legal needs! Shaquan Thomas
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I contacted Michael with concern for my personal and business reputation. He was very reassuring and confident the entire time. After about 3 weeks it was determined that no charges were being filed by any agency and I was in the clear of any investigation. One thing that is amazing is just how FAST Michael is at replying to phone calls, texts, and even emails! We are talking under 30 minutes in most cases. That is unheard of for most attorneys! Michael is incredible and not your typical run of the mill attorney. For best results hire him if you feel like you might be under investigation or could face charges. Even if you know you are innocent it is best to take care of the smoke before it becomes a fire. Brad
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Michael Kraut is-hands down-the best criminal defense attorney and I can't begin to thank him for all that he did for me and my family. I reached out to him in the middle of the night and less than a couple hours later, he had gotten back to me and scheduled a meeting. He's a no-nonsense attorney who knows how to get the job done! From the second we retained him, I had peace of mind in knowing that we were in the best hands possible. If Michael Kraut couldn't get it done, I knew that it couldn't be done at all. You can't put a price tag on your freedom. He was worth every single penny. Lida
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Michael Kraut is an outstanding attorney. He was extremely professional, and straightforward, yet sensitive with my case. I am confident I made the right choice by hiring Michael. I highly recommend him to anyone seeking a truly experienced lawyer. Daniel Lepervanche
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Michael Kraut - I cannot thank you enough for all that you did for ​my son. When I came to you I read that you used to be a district attorney but I never knew how much that meant until I watch you in court. I knew it took 3 months but the final day when I heard the judge say that all charges were dismissed it was all worth it! I will always be grateful for all that you did for us. A.N.