If you have lost your license, there are ways to reinstate it. A criminal defense lawyer can help. Being without a license can make many areas of your life difficult.
Getting to work is a challenge if you do not live in a part of the world with convenient public transportation. Managing daily tasks like getting groceries, going to the post office, dropping your kids at school, and going to the gym or the coffee shop can be made that much harder. But do not despair – there are ways to regain driving freedom.
How Does the Point System Work?
California drivers maintain their driving privileges as long as they do not have too many points, or demerits, against them. A point is given when a driving offense is committed. The number of points varies by the offense.
The points remain on the driver’s record for a time corresponding to the penalty. For instance, DUI convictions are present for ten years.
As points accumulate, drivers become more at risk of losing their licenses. If a driver has four points against their license in a year, six points in the course of two years, or six points in three years, the driver’s license will be suspended for six months.
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Should I Request a Copy of My Driving Record?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes! Clerical errors happen, mistakes are made, and it never hurts to see how close you are to having your license suspended. If it has already been suspended, it is essential to arm yourself with knowledge while working towards reinstating them.
What Should I Do if My License Is Suspended?
Contacting a defense attorney is the best and first step you can take. A quality criminal attorney will know the ropes and suggest the best action. You could request a negligent operator hearing, which could lead to several positive outcomes.
- Your suspension could be set aside. This decision is the best-case scenario because it clears the suspension altogether, and the driver’s car insurance premiums don’t skyrocket.
- An order of reinstatement is another possibility. In this case, the driver’s record won’t be expunged, but they will be able to drive again, but the marks against their record are still there so their automobile insurance may still penalize them.
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What Should I Expect in Attending a Negligent Operator Hearing?
Of course, your criminal defense attorney will prepare you for the hearing. But here are the basics of how it works.
- In California’s suspended license cases, you will attend the negligent operator hearing at the DMV.
- Your driver’s record will be evaluated for accuracy. This second look is a chance to clear up any mistakes you believe are wrongly recorded.
- Pending charges against the driver that have not made it to his driver’s record yet may work against a person trying to prove they are not a negligent driver. This hearing will examine any current charges.
- If alcohol has been involved in any accidents or charges, this will be brought to light during the hearing.
- If a driver has been found at fault in other accidents, this will be considered at the hearing.
- Any mitigating factors will be explored that could add context to the violations.
- The driver’s physical and mental well-being, or lack thereof, at the hearing will be examined.
Your criminal defense lawyer can help you gather the necessary evidence to show that your suspension should be set aside. With their help, the state of California could reinstate your license, and your life could soon be back on the right track.
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What Are My Possible Outcomes?
There are only two possible outcomes that a driver faces after a California negligent operator hearing. The hearing’s presiding officer will find that the driver is more likely than not a negligent driver. If that happens, the driver’s license is suspended.
If there is insufficient evidence to find the driver negligent, the suspension can be overturned. But there can be other options for getting you back on the road. A driver might be placed upon negligent driver probation.
If this happens, the driver must have a clean record until the time prescribed to retain their driver’s license. Another possibility is a restricted license, this means you could drive, but not without limitations. For example, you might only be allowed to go to and from work or to perform work-related duties.
You may be forced to complete an alcohol or driving school within a certain amount of time. You may be allowed to drive to such meetings or classes if you have a restricted license.
What Happens if the Hearing Determines that I Am a Negligent Driver?
If the officer presiding over the negligent operator hearing determines that you are a negligent driver and upholds your suspension, all is not lost. With the aid of a California criminal defense attorney, you can request a departmental review hearing to challenge the ruling. Evidence will be reexamined to decide if the original official’s ruling was just.
If the challenge fails, you must stay off the road until the suspension expires. Once that day comes, you must request reinstatement at your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). At this time, you will pay any required administrative fees.
To have your license reinstated, you are required to prove that you are insured and retain that insurance for three years after your reinstatement.
Should I Hire a California Criminal Defense Attorney After My License Is Suspended?
Your first and most vital step is contacting a California criminal defense attorney. Having an experienced set of eyes on your driving record and your case is crucial to overturning your suspension. They will provide you with the best chance of having your suspension set aside so you can move forward with a clean driving record.
But, if that is not entirely possible, they will do their best to get you back on the road so that you can retain employment.