DMV Hearing

DMV Hearing

In Calfornia, when a person is cited for an Alcohol DUI, there is a separate process that begins right away at the DMV. The arrestee’s driver’s license will be confiscated upon arrest, and he/she will be given a temporary license (pink slip) that is valid for 30 days (no restrictions). Unless a hearing is requested with the DMV within 10 days (weekends count), the person will not be able to drive beyond the 30 days.

DMV Hearing


The DMV Proceeding that follows a DUI arrest is one of the most complicated areas of criminal law. In California, when a person is arrested / cited for DUI, he or she faces two separate proceedings: the criminal proceeding that occurs in court, and the civil / administrative proceeding that occurs at the DMV. If you are arrested on suspicion of having a 0.08% or greater BAC, your California Driver’s License will be confiscated by the police offer and you will be issued a pink temporary license that is valid for only 30 days. Once you are served with this pink slip, you are deemed to have received notice of your right to request a hearing within 10 days. If you or your attorney does not request a hearing on time, your license will be suspended once the 30 days is up, and remember that this suspension is ON TOP of whatever suspension you may get from the court proceeding.

The pink slip will list the issues to be decided at the DMV Hearing, depending on which DUI statute you were arrested for and whether you refused a chemical test. While the issues may seem simple and straightforward, they are anything but.

An experienced DUI attorney can read between the lines and spot issues that can often result in a “set aside.” Since the DMV Proceeding is a very technical one, issues that seem minor to the untrained eye may actually be quite significant. For example, did the officer properly place his or her signature at the bottom of the probable cause statement? Is the probable cause statement too vague? (ie. pulled someone over for “erratic driving”) Was the chemical test result certified by the DMV? If so, what date was it certified? Were you administered a chemical test within 3 hours of your arrest?…etc.

Additionally, an experienced DUI attorney may be able to obtain a “set aside” for you on procedural maneuvers that have little or no relation to the facts of the case itself. For example, if the police report is unclear on one of the DMV issues, your attorney may request that the police officer be subpoenaed. If the officer fails to show up, which is often the case, you may be granted a “set aside” on that alone!

At the minimum, an experienced DUI attorney can request that the suspension of your driver’s license be stayed, so that you may continue to drive while waiting for your hearing to be held, or the outcome is still pending. The entire process can easily take several months, so it is important to be able to drive beyond the statutory period of 30 days.

Many people falsely think that if they are accused of having a 0.08% or greater BAC, either by blood or breathalyzer testing, losing the DMV Hearing is a foregone conclusion. Worse, some people (including attorneys!) believe that court representation is sufficient, when exactly the opposite is true. The fact is, 95% of the time the court proceeding, regardless of the outcome, has no effect on your DMV Proceeding; even if you win your court case, you can still lose your DMV Hearing and face the prospect of losing your driver’s license and seeing your auto insurance double or dropped.

If you have prior DUI conviction(s) or adverse DMV ruling(s) against you, it is even more important to fight the current DMV Proceeding against you, because a prior—while not relevant at the hearing itself—can result in harsher punishment should you lose.

Since a new law was passed in 2008, the DMV Process has become even more complicated. As of January 1, 2009, if you are on probation for a DUI, and you are arrested / cited for a new DUI, you must request 2 separate DMV hearings! Contact the Law Office of “The DUI Specialist” Jeff Yeh today to protect your license and get competent and effective representation at your DMV Hearing.

Frequently Asked Questions

I missed my 10 days to request a hearing from the DMV. Is there any hope for my license?

Yes. DMV does allow late requests, especially when the cause for delay is justifiable. For example, some people remain in custody, or are not given the pink slip (temporary license) containing the 10-day rule. However, the longer you go beyond the 10 days, the less likely a late request will be granted.

If I waited more than 10 days after my arrest for DUI, can I still save my license?

It depends. The DMV has the discretion to deny you a hearing, but they also have the discretion to grant it. However, even if a late request is granted, the DMV may not necessarily grant you a stay of suspension (meaning your license will still suspended after 30 days pending the outcome of the hearing).

If I lost my DMV Hearing, but won my DUI in court, will my suspension be reversed?

Usually yes, but if you lost your DMV Hearing based on a refusal, then an acquittal in court will not reverse the suspension.

If I won my DMV Hearing, but lost my DUI in court, what happens to my license?

If you are convicted of DUI, then the statutory suspension for that conviction will kick in, regardless of what happened at the DMV Hearing.

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    The Law Office of “The DUI Specialist” Jeff Yeh is proud to serve clients in all of Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties. The firm handles DUI and criminal cases in Torrance, Long Beach, South Bay, Downey, San Fernando, Santa Monica, Westminster, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Hawthorne, Fullerton, Laguna Niguel, Alhambra, Hollywood, Yorba Linda, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Burbank, Pasadena, Santa Clarita, Valencia, Newhall, Whittier, West Covina, Calabasas, Garden Grove, Tustin, Foutain Valley, Anaheim, Inglewood, Buena Park, Cerritos, Lakewood, Los Alamitos, Bellflower, Norwalk, Chino, Carson, Redondo Beach, Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Diego County, Ventura County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, El Monte, Manhattan Beach, Gardena, Compton, South Gate, La Puente, Pomona, Costa Mesa, San Clemente, Mission Viejo, Laguna Beach, San Pedro, Glendale, Beverly Hills, Culver City, Temple City, Westwood, Van Nuys, Woodland Hills, Encino, Sun Valley, La Canada, Altadena, Sierra Madre, Monrovia, Azuza, La Verne, Pomona, West Hollywood, Marina del Rey, Chatsworth, San Fernando, Orange, Placentia, La Crescenta, Corona, Bellflower, Rosemead, Montebello, San Dimas, Vernon, Monterey Park, San Gabriel, Diamond Bar, Sherman Oaks, Eagle Rock, Bel Air, Chino Hills, Brentwood, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Fontana, Riverside, Big Bear, Barstow, Indio, Murrieta, Blythe, and all other cities in Southern California.

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