California DUI lawyers handling a San Diego DMV hearing approach the action like a mini-DUI trial. Oddball rules, bizarre DMV laws and unique California DMV procedures make it different from defending a DUI case.
A California Driver Safety Officer (DMV Hearing Officer, hereafter "HO") takes the place of a judge. This state employee is really not trained in law yet acts as both prosecutor and judge.
Fundamentally unfair, the HO objects to the driver's evidence, admits DMV's evidence over the driver's lawyers' objection, and ends the hearing much the way it begins.
DUI evidence is presented: usually documents, sometimes live witnesses. The HO begins with the police report, DMV records, alcohol reports and usually marks as Exhibit "1: the critical DUI officer's sworn statement called a "DS367."
Since there are 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 in person.
A San Diego DUI attorneys' defenses at an APS hearing are unique, more so than in criminal court. Persistent San Diego DUI - related proof issues and negative finding are some of the grounds for setting aside the suspension.
In light of the different nature of California DMV hearings and the absence of an independent California judge to offer some protection, you are strongly advised not to try to represent yourself. PD's cannot help.
A California DUI lawyer has just 10 CALENDAR DAYS after the DUI arrest to serve a request or telephone the DMV Driver Safety Office to timely demand a hearing.
A typical HO's decision will usually be mailed a few days or even weeks after the hearing. A DMV suspension can be set aside or sustained. If, for example, 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.
If you insist on contacting DMV yourself, get the name of the person you speak with. Never discuss the reasons why you are contesting the suspension. Why should you? You're not a lawyer, yet along a California DUI attorney specialist.