What Happens at a Los Angeles DMV Hearing Pursuant to a DUI?

The proceedings at a Los Angeles DMV hearing are very different from those in Criminal Court. The DMV hearing may take in person, or at the request of a Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer, over the telephone. Telephonic hearings are often requested by the attorney so that they can help coach you with the testimony. The DMV hearing officer will call you the law office and the attorney and client will be present and listening over speaker phone. All dialogue is on the record and will be conducted with the professionalism and legal guidelines as any proceeding, but is just a lot more convenient for all parties involved.

The officer will call at a scheduled time and will confirm the name of the attorney and the client. The client is identified by providing full name, birth date and address. The attorney will be identified by providing a name, and address. The officer will introduce the different exhibits as evidence, one of which will be the arrest report including the officer’s statements. The issues will be stated and the officer will ask which the attorney stipulates to, and which he or she is contesting.

Once all issues have been stated and it has been entered on the record what is being contested the DMV hearing officer will swear in the client and any other witnesses that are going to testify on the record. The attorney will then ask the client questions, followed by any questions the officer may have.s

Some of the questions the attorney will ask are general to most DMV hearings, however some will be specifically tailored to the specific case before the hearing officer. The attorney, through questioning will try to establish that the client was not intoxicated while driving. Oftentimes this is done by discrediting the officer whose statements serve as the sole evidence, or by establish additional witnesses who can account for the driver’s actions.

The experienced Los Angeles DUI specialist will ask general questions asking for the client’s story of the night they were arrested, asking questions to elaborate on parts that he or she feels are worth putting on the record. The hearing officer will likely counter asking what the client remembers from the night and trying to protect the credibility of the arresting officer’s statements and weakening the credibility of the driver. Because the driver is presumed to be intoxicated, their account of the events is taken with little regard. The officer and most often the court will assume that the driver was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and does not have an accurate memory of the night.
At the conclusion of the hearing the officer will make a decision regarding the status of the driver’s license. Sometimes if there is room for argument and the attorney has presented powerful testimony, the hearing officer will not be able to make a decision based on the facts presented and will have to hear testimony from the arresting officer regarding the facts from the night of the arrest. In this case, a second DMV hearing will be scheduled.

The DMV hearing is an important part of the DUI process and one that holds the final decision regarding your driving privileges. A knowledgeable DUI attorney provides the guidance you need to make sure your credibility is strengthened and your side of the case is heard on the record before any decision is entered. Without an attorney, it is difficult to be sure of the right questions to ask and what to say in response to the DMV hearing officer. For the best possible results and to assure that your driving privileges are only suspended for a minimal amount of time, and a restricted license is granted, seek the help of an expert that has been conducting DMV hearings for over 30 years!

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