California DMV Hearing

dmv hearings in california for dui accusationsIn California, if a person is charged with DUI, the arresting officer takes his driver’s license. The person must be notified by the officer that the license may be suspended within the next thirty days. California law requires the driver’s license that the officer sends driver’s license and a copy of a notice of suspension to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) as soon as possible. Starting from the time of receiving of this notice, the person gets a right to be heard in the DMV. If the person does not contact the DMV to schedule a hearing within 10 days from the arrest, the driver’s license will be suspended or revoked automatically 30 days later.[1]

The DMV hearing, in contrast to criminal courtroom proceeding, is an administrative one. The fact that a person has the right to request an administrative hearing within 10 days after receipt of the notice of the order of suspension, and that the request is required to be made within 10 days in order to receive a determination prior to the effective date of the suspension shall be made prominent on the notice is granted by the law. Failure to respond to a notice within 10 days is a waiver of the right to a hearing, and the DMV may take action without a hearing. The DMV has to give 10 days’ notice of the hearing to the applicant or licensee. The notice of hearing shall also include a statement of the discovery rights of the applicant or licensee to review the department’s records prior to the hearing. Any hearing should be conducted by the director or by a hearing officer or hearing board appointed by him or her from officers or employees of the department. The entire proceedings at any hearing may be recorded by a phonographic recorder by any means capable of reproduction or transcription.

Upon the conclusion of a hearing, the hearing officer or hearing board should render a decision on behalf of the department and should notify the person involved. Notice of the decision shall include a statement of the person’s right to a review. The decision shall take effect as stated in the notice, but not less than four nor more than 15 days after the notice is mailed.

The person involved in a hearing may request a review of the decision within 15 days of the date of rendering the decision.

If the person involved is winning the DMV hearing, any action to suspend, revoke or restrict his/her driving privileges is set aside. Otherwise, the driver’s license has to be suspended, revoked or restricted.

Nonetheless the DMV hearing and criminal courtroom proceeding are considered to be absolutely different and separate, and a ”win” during the DMV hearing does not replace automatically the court proceeding. Anyway, the prosecutor can be confident that he has enough strong evidence in order to charge you with DUI in the trial. The judge has the power to suspend or revoke your license. The duration of the restrictions will depend on quantity of your DUI offenses.


The Margarian Law Firm aggressively protects the rights of criminal defendants in California. If you have faced accusations of DUI, it is essential to contact an experienced California defense attorney who is will provide legal assistance. We handle every aspect of your case, from the very start through the very last court hearing, all for a flat fee agreed upon before we begin.

You may file your request online, by telephone or by mail. 818-553-1000

[1] California Vehicle Code §13952

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