Monday, October 29, 2012

California DMV Announces new policies of Continuances of Driver Safety Hearings after San Diego DUI arrests, attorneys notified

The California Department of Motor Vehicles is in the process of notifying lawyers representing drivers facing possible license suspension action of their relatively new polices involving continuances of DUI-related administrative per se hearings.

In letters addressed to local San Diego DMV Defense attorneys, California DMV notifies San Diego DUI lawyers:

"To better serve the driving community, effective immediately the Department of Motor Vehicles Driver Safety Branch will schedule all continued hearings at the time of the request for a continuance.  The hearing officer will immediately select a date within 15 business days with opposing attorney's agreement.  The new date will be calendared by the hearing officer and appropriate notice will be mailed, unless notice is waived.  It is the goal of the Driver Safety Branch that all continuances be set within 15 business days of the present hearing date, whenever possible.

To avoid scheduling conflicts, please ensure all lawyers bring their calendars to the hearing in the event a continuance becomes necessary.  This will assure a mutually acceptable date is selected prior to recessing the hearing.  Please note that the hearing officer will schedule a new hearing date whether or not the attorney has his or her calendar available.   If the new hearing date subsequently presents a conflict for opposing lawyer, counsel will be required to file a written request (may be emailed or faxed) for continuance and provide good cause justification for a new hearing date.  This can be avoided by having calendars available when the new hearing date is set.  If a continuance is granted, please ensure (any witnesses were advised of the new hearing date.

When an attorney requests a continuance prior to commencement of the hearing, the written request for continuance should include good cause for the continuance and dates and times the lawyer is available:

  • Within 15 business days of the original hearing date if subpoena issuance is needed.
  • Within 10 business days of the original hearing date if subpoena issuance is not needed.
If the Driver Safety Office can schedule the date requested, that date will be set and a notice mailed.  If the dates requested are unavailable or if no dates are suggested by the attorney, the Driver Safety Officer will unilaterally assign a new date and mail notice."