If you have been charged with a DUI in San Diego County, a DMV hearing is required to determine whether your license will be suspended.

You need to call the DMV within 10 days to set up your hearing. The best idea is to hire an experienced San Diego DMV Hearings Attorney to do this for you. If you are facing a DMV hearing, call Ozols Law Firm today for a free consultation.

Strong Legal Defense For Your San Diego DMV Hearing

There are three core issues at a DMV hearing:

  1. Whether you were driving the vehicle.
  2. Whether there was probable cause for your arrest.
  3. Whether you were driving the vehicle above 0.08.

(1) Were you driving the vehicle?

In San Diego, the standard to determine if you were driving the vehicle is “volitional movement.” This does not mean that you were only “operating a motor vehicle.” This also does not mean that you were just sitting in a motor vehicle. It means that the vehicle must have actually moved. This is a hard standard to prove in California and it is often proved by circumstantial evidence.

(2) Was there probable cause for the stop?

Although the standard under the law is actually “reasonable suspicion” for the stop and probable cause for the arrest, the DMV combines these two issues.

The officers need to actually have an objective reason for your stop, not a subjective belief, if not you could have a positive advantage in your case. If the officers pulled someone over because they said they were speeding but have no proof then the hearing will be “set aside”. If they just admit to pulling someone over without any reason then a hearing officer will see that and not suspend the license of the driver.

(3) Above 0.08?

The test is either a blood or breath test and you should see the section on DUIs to learn more. Both tests have issues and all these issues can be used to prove your innocence.

DMV Hearing under the age of 21

When someone is under the age of 21 and they are accused of a DUI the DMV has the power to suspend their license for 1 year without any chance at getting a restricted license. Even more powerful is the DMV only needs to make a finding that the individual was a 0.01 or above which is a very low standard. Common issues that experienced DMV hearing attorneys use is to object to documents coming in, make other evidentiary objections and to challenge the probable cause or the illegal detention in the case. If you have been charged with a DUI then there is a lot more at stake than just your criminal record, it is also your license.

DMV Hearing Commercial Driver

If you are a commercial driver and you are accused of a DUI then literally your entire life, your entire career is on the line. It can’t be emphasized enough how important it is to have a DMV hearing and have an expert criminal attorney represent you so that you have the best possible chance at winning your hearing. In a commercial driver hearing the standard is much lower at a 0.04. This is generally a lot easier for the DMV and requires someone to really fight for your rights. If your commercial driver’s license gets suspended then you can only apply for a non- commercial license and get a restricted license under that one but cannot drive as a commercial driver.

DMV Hearing “Set Aside”

For a DMV hearing a “set aside” is a term used by the DMV to express that they are not going to suspend the license of the driver. This set aside means basically that at this point they do not have enough evidence to move forward on the action but they will wait until the court makes a decision.

DMV and the Courts as a Separate Entity

Most drivers do not understand that the DMV and the court process are two completely different processes that are unrelated. The DMV grants a license when a driver passes a test. The DMV as an administrative agency has a right to take a way that license that they granted to the individual.

For the driver there is a protection though which they are afforded because of the Due Process Clause of the constitution. The Due Process Clause notes that when you have a benefit taken away from you for example a government benefit like a driver’s license then before they can take it away from you, you have a right to a hearing. That is why the DMV hearing takes place.

However, even though you have a right to a hearing, you are not afforded the same protections as in a criminal case. The DMV hearing can have witnesses but there is a “relaxed evidence code” and thing that would normally be considered hearsay, like police documents, are admitted. Documents can also be admitted without the proper foundation as well.

If the DMV decides to suspend your license, that does not have any affect whatsoever at your subsequent court hearing. The court hearing is completely different where you are afforded all of the due process protections. You have a right to a lawyer, there will be a judge, and a jury of 12 peers that decide your case.

Unlike the DMV hearing, the court system is also a lot more responsive to the actual characteristics of the individual. For example, whether you are in the military, have a family, or are in school. This is a very complicated process and anyone going through it should certainly have the guidance of an experienced lawyer in this area.

Restricted License After DMV Hearing

This is powerful information that the DMV does not make you aware of, so if you have been charged with a DUI then pay attention. When one’s license is suspended at a DMV hearing then the DMV sends them something in the mail saying their license is suspended for 5 months. Most people think the matter is over and that they are out of options.

Only the best criminal defense attorneys in San Diego know that if done properly you can get a restricted license within 30 days of that suspension. All one has to do is set up an appointment with the DMV on the 30th day, get an SR-22 (an additional layer of insurance usually around $25 a month), and enroll in DUI classes.

One only needs to enroll and doesn’t actually need to start the classes. If they do this, then on that 30th day they will get a restricted license from the DMV that they can use to drive within the course and scope of employment and to DUI programs.

Course and Scope of Employment

Course and scope of employment is a pretty broad term that basically means to and from work but it does encompass anything that has to do with employment. If your license has been suspended, it helps to have an attorney on your side to guide you through this process and get you driving again so you can continue with your life.

If you have any questions about this process, Ozols Law Firm can help. DMV Hearings are an important of the process if you have been arrested for DUI. If you have been arrested you need to call the DMV within 10 days to set up your hearing. The best idea is to hire an experienced San Diego DMV Hearings attorney to do this for you.