What Actually Happens At The DMV Hearing?
Hearings can be held in two ways. One is called a telephonic hearing, which is over the phone. The other is an in-person hearing. We decide whether we feel it should be an in-person, or a telephonic hearing based upon the evidence. If we feel that the police report is flawed in some way, then we are going to most likely decide to do the hearing over the phone. That way the DMV may not have a witness, or the police officer present. If there is evidence that needs to be attacked, then an in-person hearing is going to be the most beneficial way to do that.
Are The DMV Hearings Even Worth Fighting For?
There is no reason not to, but yes, the DMV hearing officers are horrible. Hearing Officers are not attorneys; they do not have law degrees. In fact, the majority, of hearing officers receive, only biased training that is presented to them by the Department of Motor Vehicles. It is the department’s goal not to allow you to drive if you are arrested for driving drunk. It is their bias that if you are stopped, and if you are arrested, and if you have a blood alcohol level of above 0.08%, then you are in fact not going to get your license back.
Does The Outcome Of The DMV hearing Impact The Criminal Portion Of A DUI Case?
Yes and no. It has no direct impact. In other words, if you win the hearing, and your license is not suspended, it will not directly cause the court to modify their sentence in any way. However, psychologically, it is significant. If we are successful at the DMV hearing, then subsequently go to court and explain to the prosecutor that they have a terrible case that the Department of Motor Vehicles could not even prove it. They are more likely than not, going to listen to that argument. They may be willing to negotiate some kind of more reasonable resolution.
What Happens If Someone Refuses The Chemical Test In A DUI Case?
The law is punitive when it comes to refusals. If you refuse to take the test, and I advise my clients not to refuse, the punitive nature is such that even on a first offense, if it is found that you have in fact refused to take a test, you will lose your license for one year. In Los Angeles, or any major metropolitan area, that is difficult for an individual to navigate their life without any kind of driver’s license. However, just because you refused to take the test, does not mean that you are automatically going to lose your license for a year. You have the right to a hearing, and it is required that the Department of Motor Vehicles prove that you knew you had to take the test, and that you were advised to take the test, and that you knowingly refused.
It is a burden, which can often be defeated by your attorney. It can be shown that the individual was not given the exact correct words, or there was some type of miscommunication. Often, an officer will advise an individual that they have the right to remain silent, and then immediately after that, say, “Do you want to take a test”. That immediately confuses the driver, because they are initially told they do not have to say anything, but then if they do not say anything, they are subsequently going to be cited as refusing the test. Therefore, that confusion imposed by the police officer, is often a valid attack on the refusal.
Can Someone Request A DMV hearing If They Miss The Deadline?
Yes and no. It is going to depend on the length of time which was missed, as well as the reasons for it being missed. Obviously, if it is a day or two, and you have an explanation; such as being out of town, out of the country, sick, or something of that nature, then nine times out of ten, unless you have that totally unreasonable hearing officer, you will be allowed have a hearing. However, if you do not retain an attorney for months and the attorney does not request it for months, then most likely, the hearing will not be granted.
Is Anyone Ever Required To Get An Ignition Interlock Device Prior To Trial?
An interlock device does not apply unless you are convicted. Once you are convicted, even of a first offense, you are going to be required to have an interlock device installed. The new legislation in California will require that device to be installed for everyone. However. The court can always order an interlock device prior to conviction.
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