- The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
- The court system
Suspensions directly from the DMV are called administrative suspensions. We use the term court suspensions to license restrictions that occur as a result of a DUI conviction. You can use this article to go over the differences and similarities between these suspensions with the Simmrin Law Group.
Facts About Administrative Suspensions in California
The DMV can automatically suspend the license of drivers arrested for a DUI in California. After a driver is pulled over under the suspicion that they are driving under the influence, law enforcement officers may request that they take a chemical test to measure their BAC.
This can lead to a license suspension if:
- The driver refuses to take a chemical test
- The driver fails to complete a chemical test
- The driver’s BAC registers above certain levels
The DMV suspends licenses for drivers:
- Over 21 with a BAC at or over 0.08%
- Under 21 with a BAC at or over 0.01%
Commercial drivers may have their licenses suspended if their BAC is at or above 0.04%.
Steps in an Administrative License Suspension
If a driver fails a chemical test or refuses to take the test, the police officer may then:
- Take the driver’s license to be sent to the DMV
- Issue the driver an Order of Suspension/Revocation
- Arrest the driver to be charged with a DUI
There will be a temporary driver’s license with the Order of Suspension/Revocation. This temporary license will be good for 30 days. At the end of 30 days, the driver’s license will be automatically suspended unless the driver:
- Requested a hearing with the DMV
- Within 10 days of their arrest
Resolving Administrative License Suspensions
Drivers may attempt to resolve an administrative suspension by contacting the DMV to set up a hearing. This hearing will be handled by a DMV official, not a judge. The official will consider the evidence surrounding the DMV arrest and may decide to overturn the suspension, restoring a person’s driving privileges.
Results of Administrative License Suspensions
Not all administrative suspensions are overturned in California. Drivers who cannot overturn this suspension may face:
- A four months suspension for a first DUI offense
- A one-year suspension for subsequence DUI offenses
Note that drivers who refuse a legally requested chemical test may face a longer administrative license suspension from the DMV.
Facts About Court License Suspensions in California
Drivers in California may also have their license suspended if they are convicted of a DUI in the court system. The DMV still plays a role in suspended a driver’s license in this situation. The court will notify the DMV of a driver’s conviction, at which point the suspension begins.
Note that drivers should only face this suspension if they are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or a DUI causing injury. Drug-related DUIs should not trigger this suspension. Additionally, drivers may not face a license suspension if they accept a plea bargain for a lessened charge, like:
- Dry reckless
- Wet reckless
- Exhibition of speed
Handling Court License Suspensions in California
Many drivers focus on avoiding a court license suspension in California by taking steps to defend themselves from DUI accusations. Drivers can work with a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles to build a defense to these charges. Commonly, lawyers work to show that:
- A driver was stopped by a law enforcement officer without due cause
- The driver wasn’t operating a vehicle while inebriated
- The tests the driver took returned false-positive results
Beating a DUI charge will negate a license suspension. However, even drivers who are convicted have options. In some cases, drivers can agree to the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID). These devices measure a driver’s BAC before allowing their vehicle to turn on.
Installing an IID generally allows drivers to continue operating their vehicles following a DUI conviction.
Results of Court License Suspensions in California
A court-ordered license suspension can be more serious than an administrative suspension. Depending upon a driver’s previous criminal record, they could face a suspension of:
- Up to one year for a first conviction
- Up to two years for a second conviction
- Up to three years for a third conviction
Get Help with a California License Suspension
You don’t have to handle the threat of a license suspension in California on your own. The Simmrin Law Group can help defend you if you are accused of a DUI. You can reach our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles now to get a FREE consultation about your options.
Call us at (310) 997-4688 or complete our online contact form to get started.