Vista DUI Attorney Law Firm is a well-known legal firm serving Vista CA and neighboring areas. It boasts of attorneys who are well-versed with defenses against cases related to DMV License Suspension: 1st Offense. The firm’s attorneys help clients get back their suspended driving license or to acquire new licenses whenever revoked. They can achieve these by representing the clients in DMV or court hearings, or by guiding them through the lengthy procedures of reinstatement.

In most situations, the attorneys take legal defenses against unfair or unjust license suspension which may include claiming that the reason behind revoking was invalid. The first offense suspension of licenses can be a huge throwback to many people, hence the need to seek proper representation from these criminal defense attorneys.

What is Driving License’s Suspension?

Holding a driving license in California is a privilege. An individual is given the license after successful completion of all tests related to driving. Suspension of driver’s license, therefore, involves a short-term withdrawal of individual’s privilege to operate or drive a vehicle. Department of a motor vehicle (DMV), together with the court, is a body which is responsible for suspending a driving license in the state of California.

First Offence DUI Administrative License Suspension

A first offense driver license suspension applies when one is found to drive under the influence (DUI). When you commit your first time DUI offense, you violate the administrative per se (APS) provisions, and as a result, the DMV will try to suspend your license to ascertain that you drove under the influence, the officers subject you to tests. These tests may include a complete blood test or chemical tests aimed at determining the Percentage of Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) in your body. The examining officers arrest you if they find that the percentage of alcohol in your blood is 0.04 or 0.08% while driving commercial and non-commercial vehicles respectively. The arresting officer also may give you a temporary driving license after taking you’re your original one. The temporary license that police gives you lasts for 30 days during which you may not require a restricted license.

What Follows after Being Arrested for the First time?

Normally after being arrested for committing a DUI offense on the first time, you are given only ten days to send a request for hearing from the (DMV). By request to the department, a temporary hold on the license in question is given. However, in case the ten days expire before any DMV hearing request is received, suspension of your driver’s license proceeds automatically. The chances of winning at a DMV hearing, however, is typically low, and hence you require an attorney who is well-versed with the legal procedures. If in case you succeed in the DMV hearing, no administrative license suspension is applied, but if you lose, the license is suspended for four months,

Possibly, your driving license is suspended if, after the arrests, DMV officers prove that:

  • The arresting officer had a realistic reason to stop your vehicle;
  • The officer legitimately arrested you;
  • The alcohol content (BAC) as per tests performed were beyond or on the levels deemed illegal by the California Law;
  • You were on DUI probation, and your blood alcohol content was 0.01;
  • You in one way or another refused to complete a BAC test. This, however, is a serious offense and may subject you to harsher penalties, some of which may include one-year license revocation and denial to acquire a restricted license at any point within the 12 months. It is only after the expiry of suspension that you will be required to file SR22.

Possible Defenses against First Offense License Suspension by the DMV

In California, if you are facing a DUI offense, you are not entitled to a public defender at DMV hearing. However, you have a right to be represented by an attorney who will be able to challenge any reasons brought as to why your license should be suspended. Some of the legal positions that the attorney will take include:

  • That your BAC results were below 0.08 while you were driving;
  • That the police arrested you against the law;
  • That the police had no justifiable reason to stop your vehicle; and
  • That the police had no valid reasons to subject you to blood and breath tests.

Restricted Driving License

This license is given to you by the DMV after your license is officially suspended following your failure to request for DMV hearing or if you lost the hearing. Restricted driving license if received, allows you as the owner of the suspended license to drive in the course of employment, schooling, work or even California DUI schools.

Can I Obtain a Restricted License After a First Time DUI in California?

ou qualify for a restricted driving license if it is actually a DUI offense you have committed for the first time within the last 10 years – you had no case related to DUI in that period. You are also illegible if your BAC results revealed that the levels were 0.08 and 0.04 percent while operating non-commercial and commercial vehicles respectively. In addition, you were 21 years and above when arrested for DUI offense.

Besides DMV, the court can also suspend your driving license automatically for six months. The suspension is in accordance with the vehicle code 13352 (a) (1). However, the judge is not responsible for suspension of your license but rather, notifies the DMV upon conviction who latter impose the suspension.

Are There Any Differences Between a Court and DMV Proceeding over Driving License Suspension?

Yes, there exist differences between a court trial and a DMV hearing as explained below:

  1. DMV hearing exclusively deals with the privileges attached to your driving license and the conditions which surrounded the DUI arrest. On the contrary, court proceedings concern with whether you are guilty of the offense or not;

  2. For a DMV hearing, it is your choice as a defendant to have or attend hearings. It is also your choice to present yourself or your attorney before the proceeding while four court trial, it is compulsory for either you or your attorney to appear before the proceedings including even the arraignment;

  3. If you succeed at the DMV hearing, you DUI proceeding in the court will not be impacted in any way. The only impact the victory will have is that the office of the DMV hearing will have to set aside the administrative action against the privileges of your license. This decision is however separate from any criminal penalty, charge or the sanctions. On the contrary, an individual driver charged of DUI in the court leveled on reckless driving is not dependent on the proceedings of the DMV and hence does not bring any impact on the suspension of the driving privilege.

How Can I Reinstate my License After 1st Suspension?

There are several steps to follow which can help you reinstate your suspended California driving license. These steps are, however, specific to DUI license suspension.

  • Ensure that you complete the full periods in which your driving license was suspended. For example, if your license was for one year, make sure a full one year has passed. Without this, your driving license cannot be reinstated;

  • Serve your full jail term or prison: A suspended driving license cannot be reinstated before serving the jail term fully. In some cases, the court may jail you to an alternative jail program such as work furlough or workplace. In whichever type of jail, ensure to present a valid document showing that your jail term is over;

  • Complete DUI School: Individual drivers whose licenses have been confiscated because of DUI related cases are required to attend DUI recognized school for a specified period of time. Before completion of this term, a suspended license cannot be reinstated. To prove that you have completed attendance to the school, you are required to present some documents pointing to the qualification known as Notice of completion.

  • Completion of any other sentencing conditions: It has been established that some sentences linked to DUI go hand in hand with some mandatory drug or alcohol treatment. Such treatments may include an instruction given to the convicted to attend rehab for a specified period of time. Others may be required to attend programs meant to deter them from a certain situation. All in all, for you to reinstate a suspended license, you need to prove that you've completed all the sentences and each must be accompanied by valid documentation.

  • Get the right car insurance: Before reinstating or applying for another license, you are required to ensure that you get an insurance cover for your car. Unlike the normal insurance, this time you will need a special one and SR 22 form to act as a proof that you possessed it. There exist alternative forms to SR 22 form which may not, however, be applicable to many DUI offenders.

  • Apply for reinstatement: After ensuring that you have met all the conditions above, you are free to visit DMV local offices to apply for reinstatement. To qualify for the reinstatement, you are required to present all the paperwork of all the steps you took as required by the law.

How much is The Reinstatement Fee for First Offense DMV License Suspension?

Application for the reinstatement is not free, and hence you are required to pay a specified amount of fee purposely for reinstatement. It is always charged on top of the other fines charged along the process. The amount payable varies, but if you were convicted of DUI first offense, the fee is 55 dollars.

Driving on a Suspended Driving License – Is It a Crime?

Some drivers, after their licenses have been suspended, go ahead and drive under it. The California law under VC 14601 views it as a crime to drive with a license known to you that it is either suspended or revoked. You are accused guilty of driving on suspended license on various reasons some of which include a mental or physical disability, conviction for a California DUI or being confirmed as a careless operator of too many points on your license. If found using suspended license, you are arrested in accordance with the section.

Under the vehicle code 14601, driving on a suspended license is a misdemeanor offense and is punishable by county jail and a substantial number of fines. Specifically, the charges are dependent on the exact reason for your license suspension.

Common Legal Defenses to Fight against Charges for Driving on Suspended or Revoked Licenses include: you were not aware that your license was suspended or revoked, that allegations that led to your original license suspension were actually invalid, or you had a right to drive under a restricted license.

How Do I Know That My Driving License Has Been Suspended?

Normally, if you are arrested for a driving offense in California, and your license is suspended, you are notified of it. However, at times you may not be notified and hence a need to know of the state. In some situations, after the arrest, you might be told that your driving license might be suspended depending on how the case you face proceed. They may, however, fail to give you any information pertaining to the suspension status of your license. In this case, you will have to use any of the following methods to find out whether your license is suspended or not:

1. Call The DMV

Despite the challenges associated with this method, it proves to be the most effective way of checking the suspension status of your license. Once your call has been received by the operator at the DMV, he or she will be able to quickly look up your record and let you know of the status of your driver’s license.

2. Visit Your Local DMV Office In Person

On visiting the nearest DMV offices, you may be forced to endure long queues, but at the end of it all, you will be able to speak with the clerk in person. You will also be able to get an opportunity to ask any reason pertaining to the status of your license such as the reasons behind the suspension of your license.

3. Go to The DMV Website

This method requires that you be a certified user with an account for a free online profile with DMV websites. If you have no account, you will be required to create one by providing essential details such as your email address, date of birth, driver’s license or the issue date of your ID, license plate number, SSN last four digits, VIN number, credit card, checking account or PayPal account where you will be required to pay two dollars for the records.

You will receive a document online bearing your license. Although the document received is not official, the information in it will be vital in enabling you to know if your license is suspended or not and for whatever reason. In case you find abbreviations where "SUS", "then", and "yep" are displayed, then know that your license was suspended.

Common Essential Issues You Need to Understand Concerning License Suspension by a DMV

What Happens If I Have a Valid Driving License in One State, But It Gets Revoked in Another State?

Having a revoked drivers’ license is a detriment to raising families, earning wages and general social matters. There exists a norm of driver license suspension which dictates that your driving record will pursue you wherever you go. Anything to do with a traffic violation, revocation and suspension of the license is interstate, implying that all the traffic violations occurring in one state are assumed to occur in the state where you are licensed. In this case, if you try to apply for a new license in one state when you had been suspended in another state, you are likely not to succeed.

Who is Interested with the Nature of My Driving License?

The state of your driving license and its eligibility matters a lot to many parties. For example, the insurance providers check through your license record to determine whether to increase or reduce rates based on the policy of the company. Potential employers too are concerned about the state of your license, for example, if you are applying for a position that requires driving. Most importantly, it is vital for you as an individual and a license is essential in personal transportation.

What is The Difference between Suspended and a Revoked Driving License?

A suspended driving license is temporarily out of service or is not valid for a specified period of time. During this period, the holder of the license is not legally authorized to operate or drive any vehicle unless if he or she has a restricted license or a temporary license from the police. On the other hand, a revoked driver’s license is one that has been totally canceled, and the owner cannot reinstate it.

An owner of a revoked driving license will have to undergo a series of processes before getting the license again. He or she is required to seek an approval request from DMV and undergo the states licensing process involving written and a road test. In addition, after getting approval from DMV, you are required to pay any penalties and fines charged for the previous license.

Find a Vista Attorney Experienced in DMV License Suspension Issues Near Me?

DMV License suspension for a 1st Offense is annoying to many people. Its consequences range from hurdles in seeking new licenses to the limitation of operating motor vehicles. When you find yourself in such situations, never hesitate but contact the Vista DUI Attorney Law Firm to help you regain your suspended license or prevent your license from suspension. We offer our legal help throughout Vista, CA and neighboring areas. Call and talk to our criminal defense attorney at 760-691-1540 to handle your case.