The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is required by law in California to immediately suspend the driver’s license of people who are arrested with a DUI in the state. The taking of your license is a DMV administrative action and is independent from criminal penalties that you may receive by the criminal justice system in the months to follow. Within 10 days of your arrest, you must schedule your hearing – but you may have questions or concerns regarding the hearing. Today we will try to answer these questions.

DMV Hearing FAQ 

Are a DMV and DUI hearing the same thing? The DMV hearing is only related to the suspension or revocation of your driving privilege, so no.

How do the two hearings differ, then? The DMV hearing only relates to the suspension of your license, not whether or not you are innocent or guilty, as found at the DUI hearing. At the DMV, only certain issues will be addressed, such as whether or not you took the blood or breath test, or if you failed to do so. This means that you do not attend the DMV hearing “in place of” the DUI hearing.

Is it mandatory to attend the DMV hearing? No, you are not required to request it.

I was found not guilty of my DUI charge – does this mean that my suspension will be reversed? Yes, if the DMV determines that the court decision equals an acquittal, you may receive your license.

What can I do if my license was suspended but the judge allows me to have a restricted license? If you show that you have enrolled in a DUI treatment program, paid a reissue fee, or already completed your suspension time period, then you could receive a restricted license that will allow you to drive to a DUI program or to work.

If the officer at the DMV hearing let me keep my license, does this mean that I will keep my license through the DUI hearing? No, not always. This decision is separate from any criminal charge, and you will find out more at your DUI hearing.

Going through the process of license suspension and loss of other privileges can be confusing and disheartening at times. This is why, when you have been charged with a DUI, it is always imperative to speak to a criminal defense attorney about your case. Call us today for more information on how we can help you.