DMV Hearings for Negligent Operator Suspension
Under California Vehicle Code section 12810.5(a), if you possess a Class C license and accumulate either 4 or more driving violation points within 12 months, 6 or more driving violation points within 24 months, or 8 or more driving violation points within 36 months, the DMV would presume you to be a negligent operator of a motor vehicle. You would receive notice of the pending driver’s license suspension action via mail from the DMV. This letter not only serves as your formal notice of suspension, it also advises you of your right to contest the pending action by requesting a DMV administrative hearing – also referred to as a negligent operator hearing – within 14 calendar days from the date on the letter. Consulting with a Los Angeles DMV hearings attorney can help you preserve your driving privileges.
Where Are Negligent Operator Hearings Held?
Once your hearing request is made, a date would be scheduled at one of the DMV’s Drivers Safety Office locations for your matter to be heard. If you are a Los Angeles County resident, your hearing location would be determined by the hearing office closest to your residence. For example, you may be directed to appear at one of 4 Los Angeles County locations (Covina, Commerce, El Segundo, or Van Nuys).
Who Decides If I Am A Negligent Operator?
A Hearing Officer with the Department of Motor Vehicles would be assigned to your case once your hearing is scheduled. At your hearing, this individual would make his/her determination based upon a variety of factors, such as how you accumulated the points, the amount of use or mileage logged in your vehicle, and what proactive measures you have taken to improve your driving.
What Are The Possible Outcomes Of My Negligent Operator Hearing?
There are several possible outcomes with the worst case scenario being the Hearing Officer upholding the suspension action, typically for a period of 6 months. However, with a skilled Los Angeles DMV hearings attorney you could prevail in your hearing, resulting in the suspension action being “set aside,” which is the equivalent of a case being dismissed in criminal court. In that scenario, your license would be fully reinstated with no further action or restrictions to your driving privilege. Another scenario would involve the Hearing Officer upholding the suspension, but granting a restricted license.
Please Contact Us For A Free Case Evaluation
We have specialized in helping people preserve their driving privileges since 1987. Our decades of experience provides us with an unmatched foundation of knowledge and strong working relationships with each of the Hearing Officers at each of the Drivers Safety Offices throughout Southern California. Please call us at (888) 579-4844 for a free case evaluation.
Our Los Angeles DMV Hearings Attorney Can Represent You at Your California DMV Hearing
Protect your driver’s license after a DUI arrest
When you are arrested for a DUI, you face both an administrative suspension action from DMV and a separate criminal case. Each matter is heard independently in separate proceedings with their own sets of rules and procedures. Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP has represented clients in both of these matters since 1987. We take prompt action immediately following your arrest to ensure that your hearing request is made in a timely fashion, thus preserving your right to contest the DMV suspension and to continue driving until the hearing outcome is determined.
Deadline for filing your request for a hearing with the DMV
If you have been arrested for a VC 23152(b) or a DUI with a BAC level of 0.08, the arresting officer will seize your license and then issue you a 30-day temporary license or “pink” license. This document serves as your driver’s license for the next 30 days, as well as notice of your right to request a DMV hearing to contest the suspension action. You only have 10 calendar days from the date of your DUI arrest to request this hearing and failure to do so would result in the DMV imposing the suspension after the temporary license expires.
Understanding what happens at a DMV hearing
The DMV officer does not consider your innocence or guilt, but rather the circumstances surrounding your DUI arrest when deciding whether you can retain your driver’s license or not. Therefore, a dismissal of the criminal case or pleading to a lesser non-DUI offense would have no bearing on the DMV hearing outcome. Some issues our Los Angeles DMV hearings attorney might address during your DMV hearing include:
- Probable cause for your stop
- Whether you were lawfully arrested
- Whether the results of the blood or breath test are accurate
- Whether the officer actually observed you driving
- Whether officer and/or crime lab complied with Title 17
Restricted driver’s license
A DUI arrest can potentially result in a 6-month license suspension by the court if a DUI conviction results and/or the DMV administrative suspension is upheld after an APS hearing. The length of the suspension on a 1st offense DUI is typically 6 months on the court suspension and 4 months on the DMV APS suspension with eligibility for a restricted license after completion of a 30-day “hard” suspension. Therefore, after completing a 30 day period of no driving, a 1st offender can obtain a restricted license to drive to and from his/her DUI program, as well as work related driving. Not all 1st offenders are eligible for restricted driving privileges. For example, 1st DUI involving a chemical test refusal can result in a mandatory 1-year suspension with no eligibility for a restricted license. Furthermore, certain counties in California, such as Los Angeles, require an ignition interlock device or IID to be installed in one’s vehicle as a condition of the restricted license if a DUI conviction results from the court proceedings.
To preserve your driving privileges, consult with a Los Angeles DMV hearings attorney.
For more information about avoiding a license suspension or obtaining a restricted license, call Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP at 888-579-4844 or contact us online. We offer a free first consultation and can assist you 24/7 with your legal problems.