Thursday, June 21, 2012
DMV's new Manual makes it very easy & routine for DMV to grant itself a "continuance" when not ready in a DUI Administrative Per Se Hearing as it continues to generally try to deny attorneys' requests for continuances
DMV's Manual for Hearing Officers previously frowned upon arbitrary, capricious or baseless continuances conveniently referred to by DMV as "reconvenes."
Prior to the 2011 update, DUI attorneys from San Diego to Eureka asked DMV to take official notice of its Manual. Lawyers successfully contended DMV must deny continuances requested by the Hearing Officer (who is both judge & prosecutor)upon DMV being unable to present a prima facie case. If no “good cause,” no continuance permitted!
Continuances used to be based on what may even resemble fair and rationale bases.
Their old manual used language like a non-appearance of an essential witness “because of an unavoidable emergency” or a driver appearing without a defense attorney for the hearing but decides to get a lawyer.
Nowadays, California DMV routinely denies DUI defense lawyers' requests to continue yet liberally granting itself continuances if wanted or needed.
This updated 2011 California DMV’s Manual apparently cut out the reasonable criteria for determining the granting or denying of continuances in DUI APS cases. Now San Diego DUI attorneys often experience an extremely broad discretion for DMV granting itself virtually any “acceptable reason” or justification for a continuance, however "abstract."