If you have been arrested in California for driving under the influence of alcohol, you face prosecution on two fronts. The State will seek a conviction in court. And the DMV will try to take your license.
Typically, you will have to fight your DMV case before your court case. You have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing with the DMV. If you fail to make the request, your license will be suspended from four months to three years, depending on your circumstance.
At the DMV hearing, called an Administrative Per Se, or “APS” hearing, the DMV must prove three things: (1) that the officer had reasonable cause to believe that you were driving under the influence; (2) that you were lawfully arrested; and (3) that your blood alcohol content was 0.08 or greater (0.01 if you are under 21) at the time of driving. APS hearings involve highly technical issues, so you should be represented by a lawyer who has substantial experience with APS hearings. .
Where the DMV’s actions are limited to revoking your license, a court conviction carries additional penalties. A DUI conviction can result in a fine, increased automobile insurance rates, and jail time. So it is critical to have your case handled by an attorney with actual DUI defense experience.
Drunk driving is usually a misdemeanor offense, but it can be a felony, for example when injuries are involved. Often, most people facing drunk driving charges are concerned with the effect a conviction will have on their license. Others are concerned about the possibility of going to jail. Still others are concerned about the expenses they may be facing from court fines and increased insurance rates.
We have extensive experience defending drunk driving cases. In most cases, we are able to provide a frank and honest assessment of the case after an initial consultation. We can tell you what to expect from both the DMV and the court. We can explain any possible defenses you may have and the strength of those defenses.
The consequences of a drunk driving conviction will have long-lasting effects. So you need to be fully informed to make the decisions that will lead to the best possible result. If you would like to have your case reviewed by a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, please call us today.