During a DMV Hearing the officer will ask questions and review the arrest report to determine several issues and make a decision regarding the restriction or suspension of your driver’s license based on their findings. All questions asked and evidence gathered will be directed towards determining answers and argument centered around the issues that must be determined.
At the hearing the DMV officer must first determine whether the arresting officer had valid probable cause to stop the driver. The officer may not stop any driver without a valid reason to do so. Majority of times the driver is stopped for a violation of the California Vehicle Code. This could be running a red light, speeding, an illegal u-turn, or similar offenses. If a person violates the vehicle code, the officer has a duty to stop the driver and cite them for the violation. If during the stop the officer believes the person may be intoxicated, they have the right to conduct a sobriety test to determine if they could possibly be guilty of a DUI.
An officer also has probable cause when they check up on a person who had gotten into an accident or is pulled over at the side of the road. When a person is pulled over or has just gotten into an accident, the officer must conduct a welfare check to determine whether the person is ok or if they need assistance. At the time of the check the officer may determine the person is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and give the person a sobriety test.
The DMV officer must also determine if there was reasonable cause for the arresting officer to arrest the driver. They must look into observations made by the officer regarding intoxication to determine if the arrest was proper and with reason. If there was no reason to arrest the driver, there may be no case for DUI.
The hearing officer will also asses the facts of the case to determine whether a sobriety test was taken and if so which one. The driver has a right to refuse the preliminary alcohol screening test administered at the site of the arrest, but refusing the test at the station may lead to more severe consequences if the person if found to be driving under the influence. The driver also has a choice between the blood test, and the breath test, but by implied consent one must be taken at the station. Implied consent is consent given when a person is issued their driver’s license. It implies that the person agrees to submit to an alcohol screening test when asked to do so by an officer.
If all other issues have been demonstrated, the final point the officer must determine is if the Blood Alcohol Content reading is a .08 or over. This will be completed by confirming the BAC reading from the blood or breath test and determining that there was no error in the use of the machine or its maintenance.
The job of the Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer is to prove to the DMV hearing officer that the elements required to be found guilty of a DUI are not met. This is completed through testimony and casting doubt upon the officer’s report and observations from the night of the arrest. If the different issues are not proven sufficiently, the driver may not be found guilty of a DUI, and their license will not be suspended or revoked.