Nuts and Bolts of a California DMV License Suspension Hearing after a San Diego DUI:
California DUI Lawyers Association Attorney Specialists handling a San Diego DMV hearing for an administrative action explain that this is sort of like a mini-DUI trial but without a jury.
Bizarre DMV rules, different laws and peculiar San Diego DMV procedures exist.
Your San Diego DUI / DMV lawyer has just 10 CALENDAR DAYS after the DUI arrest to call the San Diego DMV Driver Safety Office to timely demand a hearing. You waive your right to a hearing after the 10 day deadline is up.
Due to the strange nature of 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.
Lawyer defenses at the DMV hearing are unique and often technical, more so than in criminal court.
Common DMV proof problems - as well as legal, procedural and bureaucratic obstacles - are possible grounds for winning.
A California 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.
Obviously 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.
A 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."
Because no Fifth Amendment right at the hearing, 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. 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 lawsuit called a petition for writ of mandate.