After being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in California, the first thing you will probably want to do is find a way to get yourself out of jail. For most people facing a first-time DUI charge, bail will be set relatively low, so getting home might not be too difficult. Once you’re home, the next thing you’ll likely want to do is just try to relax a bit and let go of some of the stress the situation has caused.
However, we have to urge you to not relax too much. In fact, you really shouldn’t be letting any more time pass without taking action to defend your driving privilege due to California’s 10-Day DUI Rule.
What is California’s 10-Day DUI Rule?
In California, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is notified by local law enforcement agents or a district attorney (DA) when you are arrested for a DUI. The notification is often transmitted electronically to the DMV as soon as the arrest becomes official. Within 10 days of your arrest, the DMV will suspend your driver’s license.
What if you were not drunk at all when you were pulled over and your arrest was made in error? The 10-dayrule still applies. Since contesting a DUI charge will take longer than 10 days to reach a conclusion, the 10-day rule means you can still lose your driver’s license to suspension for an entire year – or longer – even if you are eventually ruled innocent of the crime. The court can also drop your case without ever officially filing a DUI charge against you, but the 10-day rule will still apply since it is merely triggered by a DUI arrest.
The 10-day rule doesn’t always apply to a DUI arrest case, but it usually does. It is best to err on the side of caution and assume that the 10-day rule does apply to your case and that the timer has begun the moment you were arrested.
How to Stop the 10-Day DUI Rule Suspension
If your driver’s license is in jeopardy of being suspended in just 10 days because you were arrested for a DUI, what can you do to protect it? You can contact the DMV within those 10 days to request a suspension hearing, during which you can contest the suspension.
The hearing will put you before administrators from the DMV. You can bring as much evidence as you want to show that the suspension of your driver’s license would be unjustified or unreasonably punishing. You do not necessarily have to try to prove that you were not intoxicated behind the wheel to the DMV administrators. In many cases, it makes more sense to try to show them that losing your license to suspension would put you in an undue hardship. For example, if you have to take your children to school and pick them up each day, then a complete license suspension would be unfair to you and your children.
You should keep in mind that the administrators are just that: administrators. They are not law enforcement agents by any stretch, meaning they are not bound by any criminal justice system to make a decision one way or another. They are largely free to use their own discretion when reaching a decision, which means how well you convince them of your argument matters.
Prepare for Your DMV Hearing with a DUI Defense Attorney
The best way to prepare for a DMV hearing to stop your driver’s license suspension within 10 days of being arrested is to get the guidance of a professional DUI lawyer. At the Law Offices of Scott R. Spindel in Los Angeles, we have a long history of representing clients in some of the most difficult and complex DUI cases out there. Using our insight and experience in and out of the courtroom, we can help you prepare for your hearing and create a convincing argument against license suspension. You can even have us represent you during your DMV hearing, as you are permitted to enlist the services of a legal representative.
Call our Los Angeles law office at (818) 797-9212 right away. Do not let 10 days pass without taking action and contacting the DMV!