When you have been arrested for a Los Angeles DUI, and are issued a citation to appear in court, you will also be given a notice to schedule your DMV hearing. This must be done within ten days of your arrest or you lose your right to hearing. The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether your license will be suspended, for how long, and whether you will have the option of a restricted license.
You have the right to an attorney in your DMV hearing, even though the hearing is administrative. There is no Judge at a DMV hearing, only a hearing officer who then makes a determination. You attorney, or you, can bring up any procedural issues with the officers conduct at the time of the arrest, or failure to follow protocol.
For example, an officer must have probable cause to pull a driver over. This means a traffic violation, or otherwise. If the driver ran a red light, the officer has a right to pull them over, or if they were speeding. An officer does not have the right to arbitrarily pull someone over. If the officer pulled someone over with no probable cause, the evidence they have gathered is inadmissible and can lead to a dismissal of the case. This is an argument that can be addressed or brought up during a DMV hearing.
Another example is if the officer had followed the right protocol in administering a field sobriety test and one thereafter. It is not required to take any tests at the scene, but if you are arrested and taken in, an officer must inform you that it is required, and if you refuse to take the tests, then it may have some consequences. An officer must inform you of these steps. If they do not, then it could result in consequences for obtaining evidence.
You also have the right to subpoena the arresting officer to testify at the DMV hearing. You can question the officer regarding their report, or their observations. This will allow you to provide doubt in the hearing officer’s mind or perhaps question protocol or procedure having been followed.
You may also present the police report or other evidence against the officer’s statements or testimony. In any case, a DMV hearing is important because it pertains to your ability and privilege to drive. You have to treat it as you would treat your criminal case, with seriousness and with the best possible legal representation. It is highly recommended that you seek the help of a Los Angeles DUI lawyer to provide the best possible representation to you not only during your criminal case, but also during the DMV hearing.
There are many arguments, and defenses available to you, and an experienced Los Angeles lawyer will have insight and knowledge into each officer and their preferences. This will help immensely with your case and ensuring the best possible results!