California takes DUI convictions quite seriously, even for first-time offenders. On top of hefty fines, you may see jail time, the requirement of an alcohol education program and a loss of your driver’s license for several months or years. Between a commute to work and driving children to and from sporting events and school, many of us rely heavily on our driver’s license to keep our personal and professional lives moving. A driver’s license revocation or suspension is a threat to your very way of life. However, you may challenge whether the suspension is justified.
After receiving an Order of Suspension, you will have a 10-day window in which you may request a hearing to argue against your suspension. For the hearing, you may:
- According to the California DMV, you may request copies of the evidence prior to your hearing.
- You may also have an attorney present. And if you have an attorney—which it is highly recommended that you have one for this situation—you will need to sign off permission to provide them with copies of the evidence.
- It is possible to even subpoena (summon to court) witnesses or officers involved in your charge and arrest if you believe that will help your case.
The court will then hear your case and make their decision as to whether the suspension is unjustified.
Note, also, that you may be eligible for a restricted license which would allow you to drive to and from your workplace and the DUI education program. You may only qualify for a restricted license if it is your first offense.
For how long could I lose my license?
If the court upholds your suspension, the length will depend on whether you have previous DUI convictions. A first-time DUI conviction will result in a sixth-month suspension or revocation. A second offense may result in a two-year suspension or revocation. For a third or subsequent convictions, you may lose your license for up to ten years.
Especially if you are a working professional who relies on your license for your financial well-being, it is vital that you explore all your options and consider doing so at the advice of an experienced DUI attorney.