Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Attorneys well-versed with a California DUI / DMV hearing for an administrative per se license suspension action explain mini-DUI trial

DMV Hearing Info after a DUI

Attorneys well-versed with a California DUI / DMV hearing for an administrative per se license suspension action understand it is similar to a mini-DUI trial but without a jury.

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

In San Diego, odd DMV rules, peculiar San Diego DMV laws and strange San Diego DMV procedures exist. The San Diego DMV hearing is 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, rule on her or his own objection, dually engage San Diego DUI lawyers, and admit or not admit either party's evidence.



The San Diego Driver Safety Officer offers evidence in the form of documents and/or witnesses. The Driver Safety Officer offers the San Diego drunk driving / DUI police report, DMV records, San Diego DUI alcohol reports and the important San Diego DUI officer's sworn statement entitled a "DS 367." With no Fifth Amendment right at the hearing, San Diego DUI attorneys 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.



The San Diego DMV Driver Safety Officer's decision will usually be mailed a few days or even weeks after the hearing. A San Diego DMV / DMV suspension can be set aside or sustained. If the San Diego DMV suspension is sustained, the decision can be appealed to the DMV in Sacramento and/or to the San Diego Superior court by filing a San Diego DMV petition for writ of mandamus.




A San Diego DUI attorneys' defenses at an APS hearing are specialized and technical, more so than in criminal court. Frequent San Diego 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 San Diego DUI / DMV hearings and the absence of an independent San Diego DUI judge to offer some protection, you are strongly advised not to try to represent yourself. Because these are not San Diego DUI criminal proceedings, San Diego County public defenders are unavailable.
If you must contact DMV yourself, although not advised as they are not "on your side," please ask for the name of the person you speak with. Please do not discuss the reasons why you are contesting the suspension. The San Diego Driver Safety Office is located at 9174 Sky Park Avenue, Suite 200, San Diego (858 627-3901 or fax 858 627-3925).




Upon request, San Diego DMV may not be able to schedule a hearing before your 30-day temporary license expires. Your San Diego DUI / DMV lawyer will request a Notice of Stay of the 30-day temporary license until a San Diego DMV hearing is provided and a San Diego DMV decision is actually rendered.