When you are charged with a DUI, you will undergo a process where you have to attend a hearing with the DMV regarding the status of your driver's license. This hearing is separate from the court matter connected to your criminal charge for the DUI. At the DMV hearing you have the opportunity to challenge the evidence presented against you so that you can keep our drivers license.
Sometimes however, the decision is not always in your favor. If you lose your DMV hearing, there are a number of things that you can do about your driver's license.
The first step a lawyer may take for you is to get a restricted license. This means that within 30 days of losing your DMV hearing, you apply for a restricted license. This will allow you to go to and from work or school, and get to court. It will also allow you to get to DUI school, a program the DMV provides when you've been charged with a DUI.
There are some cases where you can get a restricted license immediately if you need it. The outcome of the DMV hearing will also largely depend on whether or not this was your first DUI. Generally, your license is suspended for one year for every consecutive offense. For your first offense, it is a one-year suspension, but there are exceptions with the restricted license.
First Offense DUI
If this is your first offense, your license could be suspended for up to 10 months after you lose your DMV hearing. After 30 days, you may be able to have the license converted into a restricted license if you have to go to work.
You'll also have to attend DUI school and submit a SR-22 form. A reinstatement fee will apply.
If your first DUI offense causes injury to someone, and you lose your DMV hearing, your license might be suspended for up to one year. If you refuse a chemical test or Breathalyzer, your license will be suspended for one year.
In many cases, you can continue driving if you get an Ignition Interlocking Device installed for a four month period.
The SR-22 Form
The SR-22 form is a standard form that is issued by an insurance company after a DUI and after you lose a DMV hearing. This form is purchased like insurance, and is liability coverage. The SR-22 form illustrates proof to the DMV that you are financially responsible for your vehicle.
For your second offense DUI, if it occurs within 10 years of your first one, and you lose your DMV hearing, your license will be suspended for up to two years. You might be able to convert this to a restricted license at the one-year mark. It was only an alcohol DUI, you may be able to get a restricted license within 90 days.
You would have to show that you have attended a DUI school and that you have an ignition interlocking device. You might be able to drive without any restrictions at all if you have the ignition interlocking device installed for up to one year.
With an injury involved, the license suspension will be three years. After one year you will be eligible for a restricted license with the same conditions as above, plus the SR-22.
Third Offense DUI
For the third offense within 10 years, the DMV will suspend your license for three years. You may be eligible for a restricted license after one year. With a DUI with injury, you may lose your license for 5 years after you lose your DMV hearing.
You can apply for a restricted license with some conditions. If you refuse a chemical test or Breathalyzer, you may lose your license for three years. If you have an ignition interlocking device for one year, you can keep driving.
Fourth Offense DUI
A fourth offense DUI is when things start to get even more serious. Here you are looking at a felony DUI. When you have this charge, the DMV suspends your license for four years. You might be able to get this converted to a restricted license within one year.
There will be conditions here as well, including DUI school, the ignition interlocking device, and the SR-22 form.
To get the best possible outcome after you lose your DMV hearing, a DUI lawyer is recommended, whether it is your first, fourth, or subsequent DUI.
Book a Consultation With a California DUI Attorney Today
When you have learned that you have just lost your DMV hearing, life can feel hopeless. As you can see, that isn't always the case. With a California DUI attorney, you will be driving again soon. At the H Law Group, our California DUI attorney team has been working with DUI charges and DMV hearing outcomes for years. Call us for a free consultation today.