Why Are The Days Following A DUI Arrest Critical For My Driver's License In Los Angeles County?
The reason everything is so important after your DUI arrest to move quickly and get a lawyer is because there's a time clock that starts ticking related to dealing with the DMV. California Vehicle Code 23152(a) covers driving under the influence laws.
The DMV is the entity that is going to deal with your driver's license after you get arrested for a DUI. The police have likely taken your driver's license away from you, giving you a pink form that basically says that you have ten days to all the DMV to ask for a hearing and also to ask for a stay on the suspension until you get your hearing.
10 Day Rule
If you don't do that within that ten-day period, then after thirty days of getting your DUI, your license will automatically be suspended and you won't be able to do anything about it.
If you hire a lawyer with that ten days, the lawyer can call the DMV on your behalf, ask for hearing, ask for a stay on any suspension until you get the hearing and even if the hearing is two months from the arrest, you'll still be able to drive during that time frame while you wait to see what happens with your DMV hearing.
What we do is, we will contact the DMV on your behalf. We will let them know that we represent you.
We will send them a written letter and get fax notifications so we can prove we sent it within the ten days and that way we're good a far as what we need to do to challenge the DMV's suspension of your driver's license.
Driver's License Suspension
If it's a first offense and it doesn't involve a refusal, then if you lose, you'll lose your driver's license for thirty days and then after that you'll get it back for five months on a restricted basis to drive to and from work, during the course and scope of work, to and from school, to and from any alcohol program.
You'll also have to put an ignition interlock device in your car in order to start your vehicle. So, as you can see, if you don't move quick, you automatically lose all your rights related to the DMV.
I also think it's important to move quickly for your driver's license as far as hiring a lawyer for the criminal case because you can actually win the DMV hearing and they don't suspend your driver's license administratively through the DMV.
However, if you lose the criminal case and you end up having to plead guilty for a DUI that guilty plea in that conviction in your DUI case in Los Angeles will be sent to the DMV's computers and then you will lose your driver's license anyway. Not administratively, but because you got the conviction in the court.
Early Intervention By A Lawyer
So, it's critical that you jump on this thing right away. Don't ignore it. This isn't some little traffic ticket.
A DUI in Los Angeles, especially based on the political climate is very serious and the prosecutors and judges take it very seriously and if you don't have somebody there to champion your rights with the DMV and with the court system, they're going to trample all over you and they're not going to care.
You can cry and whine and yell and say you have no record and it's not fair — they're going to get you anyway, and once you go into that system and you see how vicious they are, you're going to get a good feel that they don't mess around with these DUI cases because, quite simply, it's a political issue. People die on the roads.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving has a lot of power, especially in the state of California, and if you don't know it by now, the state of California, particularly Los Angeles and surrounding counties are very, very tough on DUI's. They don't mess around, so you better not mess around either.
Get an attorney right from the gate. Once we're hired, we jump right on it. We call the DMV. We send the letter. We make sure your case is calendared. We appear in court for you.
A lot of times if it's just a first-time DUI we can appear for you on the first court appearance, get the paperwork, speak to the prosecutor, start to talk to them about the case and see what they're position is and then when we meet with you after you've reviewed the paperwork related to your DUI matter.
We're going to have a pretty good feel for what the strengths and weaknesses are of the prosecutor's case and we can advise you accordingly on what type of moves that we're going to make in order to preserve your rights, your freedom, your reputation and get you out of the criminal system as fast as possible and get you back on the road so you can drive again following your DUI arrest.