Let's say you were previously convicted of a DUI in California and you were ordered not to drive with a measurable amount of alcohol in your system.
You are still on DUI probation which is usually 5 or 3 years in most California courts, say San Diego attorneys.
You have a new incident involving a police officer which required you to blow into a breath test machine or gadget and you blew .01% or more (which is measurable amount of alcohol in your system per San Diego DUI lawyers).
Maybe you had just gotten your California driver's license or privilege back, or it was restricted as a result of your DUI. The California police officer takes your license and/or issues you a new Pink DMV Order of Suspension for .01%/DUI Probation Violation.
At what point do you need a California lawyer?
You need a California DMV defense attorney to contest the new suspension action BEFORE the hearing is requested and before the hearing.
If you wait until AFTER the hearing or AFTER the DMV suspends for one (1) year, that will probably be too late.
Because you needed an attorney to advance your best strategy, defense or approach PRIOR to - and AT - the hearing.
You cannot raise new issues, defenses or tactics AFTER the DMV suspends.
People get confused because the California DMV Order of Suspension states you can appeal, i.e. file a Petition for Writ of Mandate in a California Superior Court, or file for Departmental Review. But unless you (or, and this is this point, your attorney) made a record of your objections, arguments or contentions, one may not raise new objections, arguments or contentions for the first time in the California Superior Court writ action or DMV Departmental Review.
Bottom line: protect yourself early. Contact a California DMV defense lawyer immediately after being served with the pink DMV order of suspension/temporary license to find out what your options are, even if you were not arrested or cited for DUI or drunk driving.