Tuesday, November 24, 2009

California DUI lawyer's defenses at a DMV hearing are specialized and technical, more so than in criminal court

California DUI / DMV hearings are presided over by a Driver Safety Officer (DMV hearing officer) rather than a real judge, an employee of the DMV not trained in law who acts as both prosecutor and judge. As unfair as it is, she or he can legally object to your evidence, and rule on her or his own objection. Evidence consists of documents and/or witnesses. The Driver Safety Officer offers the San Diego drunk driving / DUI police report, DMV records, California DUI alcohol reports and the DUI officer's sworn statement entitled a "DS 367." With no Fifth Amendment right at the hearing, your California DUI / DMV attorney usually will not want you to be present at the hearing since the Driver Safety Officer can call you as a witness and force you to testify against yourself if you ill-advisedly appear.

California DUI lawyer's defenses at an APS hearing are specialized and technical, more so than in criminal court. DUI / DMV proof problems - as well as legal, procedural and bureaucratic obstacles - are possible grounds for setting aside the suspension.

Because of the peculiar nature of California DUI / DMV hearings and the absence of an independent DUI judge to offer some protection, you are strongly advised not to try to represent yourself.

Your California DUI / DMV attorney has just 10 CALENDAR DAYS after the DUI arrest to call the DMV Driver Safety Office to timely demand a hearing. You waive your right to a hearing after the 10 day deadline is up.