If you have recently been arrested and charged with driving under the influence in California, it is important to realize that time is of the essence. When you are arrested for a DUI, there are two separate and independent proceedings that are set in motion, both with the ultimate goal of punishing you. Obviously, there will be criminal charges, which will take place in the Superior Court in the jurisdiction in which you were arrested. However, there will also be a separate proceeding with the Department of Motor Vehicles where a determination will be made if your license is to be suspended.

Once arrested for a DUI, you have only 10 days to schedule a hearing to challenge the suspension of your license. At the hearing, your attorney will have the opportunity to show that a suspension (or revocation) is not justified. Even if you are later acquitted by the criminal court, this hearing is the ONLY time you will be able to prevent your license from being automatically suspended. That’s right: even if the charges are reduced or you are found not guilty later, your license will still be suspended by the DMV.

It is important to note that since the DMV proceeding is independent from the criminal charges, if you are assigned a public defender, he or she will NOT represent you in a hearing to challenge your suspended license. Unless you retain a private attorney, you will be completely on your own trying to save your driving privileges. While it is possible to win a DMV hearing on your own, an attorney familiar with the proceeding will give you the absolute best chance to save your license.

A skilled attorney will also give you the best chance of winning in criminal court. Common successful attacks on DUI arrests include:

  • Was there probable cause to pull you over?
  • Was proper procedure followed by law enforcement when arresting you and performing any tests?
  • When and how was your blood alcohol content tested?
  • Were any instruments used to measure your blood alcohol content properly calibrated?
  • Did a personal medical condition affect your blood alcohol content results?
  • Can the prosecution prove that you were in fact driving the vehicle while intoxicated?

Because each case is different, there may be numerous ways to defend yours depending on the circumstances. A skilled attorney will work with you every step of the way advising you on the best course of action to have the charges, dismissed, reduced, or to make the decision to go to trial.

If you want to learn more about what can be done in your case, contact the Law Office of Scott R. Ball today.


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