Orange County DMV Process After a DUI Arrest

Orange County DUI DMV Process

The Orange County DMV process is considered a separate civil action from your court case.  It addresses only your right to drive in the State of California.  In California, your right to drive is considered a privilege and not a right.

When you are stopped and charged with driving under the influence (DUI), two separate cases are started, one with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and one with the court.  During the stop and arrest processes, the arresting police officer should have taken your driver’s license and provided you with a pink DS-367 form which serves as a temporary license and a formal notice of license suspension.  It is critical that you or your Orange County DUI attorney request an administrative hearing with the DMV within ten (10) days of your arrest.  If this request is not made within the ten-day period, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended 30 days from the date of your arrest.


The Orange County DMV Hearing

The Orange County DMV hearing is an administrative proceeding that is conducted by a DMV employee who will review all of the evidence presented, including the police report.  The hearing officer is the one who makes the determination as to whether your driver’s license should be suspended or revoked.  At the Orange County DMV hearing, your Orange County DUI lawyer may present rebuttal evidence, call witnesses to testify on your behalf, and utilize other defense strategies which may help you keep your driver’s license.  The three issues that must be present by a preponderance of evidence in order for the DMV hearing to take action are:

  • Whether or not the arresting officer had probable cause to stop you and make an arrest
  • Whether or not you were in fact “driving”
  • Whether or not you had a blood-alcohol-content level of .08% or higher.

It is important to note that in order to find that you violated California’s driving laws, there must be a chemical test result.  California courts have held that suspensions by the DMV are “wholly pegged to a valid chemical test,” and field sobriety test results and an arresting officer’s opinion are not enough to support a suspension.

Once all of the evidence has been presented, the DMV hearing officer will review all of it and make a determination.  This determination is made later and generally takes anywhere from a couple of weeks up to a month or more.  A written formal decision is sent to you and/or your Orange County DUI attorney.

Orange County DUI DMV Penalties

Not being successful at your Orange County DUI DMV hearing can result in harsh consequences.  First-time DUI offenders generally get a four-month license suspension.  If you refused chemical testing, are under the age of 21 years, or are a subsequent DUI offender within a 10-year period, then you face a one-year license suspension.  Second-time DUI offenders face a two-year license suspension, third-time DUI offenders face a license suspension of up to three years or revocation up to four years, and fourth-time DUI offenders face revocation of their driving privileges.

In addition to suspending or revoking your driver’s license, the DMV may also require that you meet other conditions before your license can be reinstated.  These conditions include your having to attend alcohol-education classes or AA meetings, and even installing an ignition interlock device.

Note that if your driver’s license is suspended or revoked as a result of your DMV hearing, you do have the right to request another hearing and contest the results.

Benefits of Hiring an Orange County DUI Attorney

Orange County DMV hearings and penalties can be fought and won.  As experienced Orange County DUI lawyers, we have won many favorable outcomes for our clients.  From the onset, our skilled Orange County DUI lawyers will make a request for the hearing and an extension to the 30-day temporary license that was issued when you were arrested so that you can drive until your actual Orange County DMV hearing.  We will present evidence, have witnesses testify when necessary, and argue that your right to drive be preserved.

Attempting to handle things on your own will almost guarantee that you will lose your right to drive.  We offer free Orange County DUI case reviews; contact us today to preserve your right to drive!