Drivers charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in California can face a criminal trial. They may also have their driver’s license automatically suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This DMV suspension is called an administrative suspension.
You may be wondering why the California DMV automatically gives administrative suspensions after a DUI arrest. You are likely also considering your options for protecting your license in this situation. The Simmrin Law Group can help you review administrative suspensions and the best way to resolve this type of suspension in your favor.
Legal Reasons for Administrative Suspensions in California
California began allowing the DMV to hand down administrative suspensions as they currently function in 1990. Administrative suspensions are intended to stop drivers from operating their vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The state made these suspensions automatic as part of their attempt to curtail drunk driving.
The Facts About Administrative License Suspensions
Let’s review the basic facts regarding administrative license suspensions in California, to help you better understand this process. The DMV may move to suspend your license after any DUI arrest. During your arrest, a law enforcement officer will take your driver’s license to mail to the DMV.
You will be given an Order of Suspension/Revocation when your license is taken. This order will include a temporary license. Your temporary license is good for 30 days, at which point your driving privileges may be automatically suspended.
Additional Causes of DMV License Suspensions
You should be aware that the DMV may also suspend your driver’s license if you refuse some blood alcohol content (BAC) testing in California. All drivers in California are legally required to go along with BAC testing if they are:
- Under 21
- On DUI probation
- Legally arrested
Refusal to complete a lawfully ordered BAC test can lead to the automatic suspension of your driver’s license. A first-time refusal can allow the DMV to suspend your license for a year. Additional refusals can increase the length of your suspension.
The Length of Administrative License Suspensions in California
The DMV may suspend your license for:
- Up to one year for a first DUI violation
- Up to two years for a second DUI violation
- Up to three years for a third DUI violation
The suspension of your driver’s license can make it difficult for you to continue living your day-to-day life. You could have problems reaching your job and running errands without a license. For this reason, it is very important that you treat a DMV license suspension seriously.
Administrative Suspensions and Ignition Interlock Devices (IID)
Note that you may be able to continue driving on a restricted license following an administrative suspension if you agree to the installation of an IID. IIDs are personal breathalyzer devices that are attached to your vehicle.
An IID measures your BAC before your vehicle will operate. You will also be required to conduct random BAC tests while operating your vehicle with an IID installed. As long as your BAC remains below the legal limit, your vehicle will operate and you will be able to maintain your driving privileges.
DMV Hearings for Administrative License Suspensions
You do not just have to accept an administrative license suspension in California. You can take steps to prevent this suspension from going into effect by requesting a hearing with the DMV. You only have 10 days after your arrest to request this hearing.
A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can ensure that your hearing is requested on time. A legal professional can also take charge during the hearing, which will be handled by a representative from the DMV, not a judge and jury.
Your lawyer can work to show that your suspension should not be upheld. This can involve demonstrating that:
- You were stopped by a law enforcement officer without due cause
- You were not operating your vehicle while inebriated
- You were given a BAC test that returned inaccurate results
Successfully resolving your DMV hearing can even improve your odds of handling criminal DUI charges in Los Angeles, so get help today.
Speak to a DUI Lawyer in Los Angeles Right Now
Now that you understand why the California DMV automatically gives administrative suspensions after a DUI arrest, you can take steps to protect your driving privileges. Contact the Simmrin Law Group now to get professional help with your criminal trial and your DMV hearing in California.
Reach our team of DUI lawyers in Los Angeles by calling (310) 997-4688 or completing our online contact form. We can even offer you a FREE case evaluation right now.