"Everywhere on the Internet it seems to say that after I get a DUI in California, I only have '10 days to contact DMV' - is that true, lawyers are asked?"
That depends,say California DUI attorneys.
That depends on whether or not you were given a pink DMV order of suspension/temporary license.
If you were not given a pink California DMV order of suspension, then you have to wonder what happened:
a) Did the California DUI officer fail to do his or her job in issuing a pink California DMV order of suspension?
b) Or did the California DUI officer issue the order but either the jail or the officer failed to get you a copy?
If the latter, then your California DUI attorney should timely contact DMV to make sure DMV does not otherwise suspend.
If the latter and you are past your 10 days, a California DUI lawyer should advise you that if the officer failed to check a box at the top of the order or failed to sign the bottom of the paper, then DMV Sacramento California will likely send out an automated, computer-generated order, usually about 4 pages long. Then your California drunk driving attorney can still make a timely request for a DMV hearing to avoid the suspension.
The key is to make sure you are preserving your right to a license suspension action hearing arising out of this California DUI arrest, attorneys remind.
If you were not served the pink order, it's possible (but unlikely) California DMV is taking no action. In any event, they can't suspend your license without due process and an opportunity to be heard.
Sometimes it depends on the location of the California DUI arrest. Many military bases in San Diego County do not issue pink orders of suspension, for example.
Sometimes it depends on the cop. An inexperienced or tired California DUI police officer may have dropped the ball. If no pink order, then no need to contact within 10 days.
A California DUI attorney can advise you after reviewing your case here. If you were over the .08% BAC legal limit and the officer did not make sure you received a pink order, you should be very careful. You do not want to lose your right to a hearing. Because once those 10 calendar days are up, if the officer claims you were served but you never got the copy, you may up a creek without a paddle. Your California DUI lawyer will assess the respective facts, issues and risks with you, so you take the proper course of action.