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The Law Office of Robert Tayac
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The DMV Case

California DUI arrests and convictions automatically trigger California DMV driver's license suspensions. A DMV Hearing must be requested within ten (10) calendar days of the DUI arrest in order to prevent the automatic suspension of a California driver's license or privilege to drive within California if the person has a license from a state other than California. The DMV Hearing should be requested with the Driver Safety Office having jurisdiction over the city in which the DUI arrest occurred.

If the DUI arrest occurred in San Francisco, Marin County, San Mateo County, Napa County, or Sonoma County, the DMV Driver Safety Office in San Francisco should be contacted. If the DUI arrest occurred in the Alameda County or Contra Costa County the Oakland Driver Safety Office should be contacted. If the DUI arrest occurred in Santa Clara County or Monterey County, the San Jose Driver Safety Office should be contacted.

If a DMV hearing is not requested within ten (10) days of a California DUI arrest, the driver's license or driving privilege will be suspended by the DMV thirty (30) days from the date of the arrest for a minimum of four (4) months in the case of a first DUI offense. Second offense driving under the influence cases trigger a one (1) or two (2) year license suspension.

Requesting a DMV Hearing does not prevent the suspension of the license. Requesting a DMV hearing entitles a driver accused of driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or greater to a Hearing. At the Hearing, a DMV hearing officer will decide whether the driver's blood alcohol level was 0.08% or greater at the time of driving based upon evidence presented at the Hearing. If the DMV determines the driver was driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or greater, the DMV will suspend the driver's license. In California, it is the Department of Motor Vehicles, not the court, which suspends a driver's license.

10 Day Rule
If a person is arrested for DUI, the officer will seize the driver's California license. Drivers from out of state who are arrested for DUI are not subject to having their driver's license seized. The Police Officer, California Highway Patrol Officer or Sheriff's Deputy will serve a person arrested for driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or greater with a pink sheet of paper which is entitled Order of Suspension and Temporary Driver's License. The form, also called California DMV Form DS-367, notifies the driver that there is only ten (10) days from the date of the arrest within which to schedule a hearing to contest the license suspension. Failure to schedule a hearing within ten (10) days will result in an automatic license suspension.

DMV Hearing
The DMV Hearing will usually take place in an office with a DMV Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer is a DMV employee, not a prosecutor or judge. However, the DMV officer's role is similar to the role of a prosecutor or judge in that the officer must present evidence to justify the driver's license suspension and make a final ruling.

The DMV Hearing Officer has the burden of justifying the license suspension. In order to justify the suspension of a driver's license, the DMV officer must find that the arresting officer had reasonable cause to believe the person was driving in violation of the DUI statutes, that the arresting officer lawfully made the DUI arrest, and that the person was driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or greater. The DMV Hearing process is very technical, and while the arresting officer may testify at the hearing, the final decision will be based upon the evidence presented.

The duration of license suspension varies. For first time DUI offenders, license suspension imposed by the DMV usually lasts for four (4) months. If convicted of driving under the influence, the San Francisco Superior Court will forward an abstract (notice of conviction) to the DMV which will then impose a separate suspension usually lasting for six months. (A person ordered to complete a nine (9) month DUI school by the Superior Court will suffer a ten (10) month license suspension.) For multiple DUI offenses, license suspension or even revocation can last up to three years or permanently. The goal in every DMV license suspension Hearing is to obtain a Set Aside. Obtaining a set aside means that the license suspension action has been set aside and the licensee is eligible to have the driver's license or driving privilege (if license in a state other than California) reinstated. In most cases, the DMV will suspend a person's driver's license or driving privilege. It is important to understand that reinstatement of the driver's license or driving privilege is not automatic. Post suspension communication with the California Department of Motor Vehicles ir required in order to have the suspension lifted.

Hiring an Attorney
The most important decision made after being arrested for a San Francisco DUI is to hire an experienced San Francisco DUI attorney. The reason it is important to hire a local San Francisco DUI attorney is because there are local rules and procedures in the San Francisco Superior Court specific to DUI cases. Additionally, an experienced San Francisco DUI lawyer will protect your legal rights and inform you of your legal options throughout the case. Your lawyer should also schedule your Hearing with the DMV and represent you at the Hearing. A skilled DUI attorney will know how to best present your side of the story and challenge evidence the DMV will present against you. By hiring an attorney, you increase the chances that your license will not be suspended and if your license is suspended, minimize the length of time it takes to get your license back.

San Francisco DUI Attorney

Mr. Tayac and the DUI investigators and experts working with him stand ready to help you or your family member. A member of the office is available to speak with you regarding the case any day of the week between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time at 415-552-6000.

If you hire the Law Office of Robert Tayac, you will know that you have retained the services of the most knowledgeable and experienced DUI defense team.