Even a first time DUI will result in a driver’s license suspension in California. Actually, a first offense DUI results in TWO suspensions; an “APS” and a “conviction” suspension. Both of these are imposed by the DMV and not the court. In order to avoid both of these driver’s license suspensions you, and your DUI lawyer, must win the DMV hearing and avoid a DUI conviction in court.
The APS Suspension For First Time DUI
When a police officer arrests someone for DUI, the officer is required by California Vehicle Code Section 13353.2 to give that person a pink paper and take their California driver’s license from them. The fine print on this paper explains that the driver, or their DUI attorney, has ten days to request an APS hearing with the DMV. If no APS hearing is requested within this 10-day window, a driver’s license suspension will automatically begin. The start date for the APS driver’s license suspension is 30 days from the date of arrest.
The APS suspension is a four-month suspension. However, if the driver enrolls in an alcohol program, gets a special form of proof-of-insurance (called an “SR-22”), and pays $125.00 to the DMV, then the driver can shorten the suspension period to one month, followed by a period of “restriction”. A restricted license allows driving to and from work, the alcohol program, and any “work-related” driving. The length of restriction varies from five to ten months, depending on how well your DUI attorney coordinated the beginning date with any conviction suspension in your case.
If you or your Orange County DUI lawyer timely requested a hearing, then the DMV cannot issue an APS license suspension until and unless you lose that hearing. Unfortunately, these hearings are civil in nature and without many of the protections afforded in criminal court. The burden of evidence is not beyond a reasonable doubt but rather by a preponderance. Also, there is no jury. A DMV employee, called a hearing officer, acts as judge and prosecutor. Thus, DMV hearings can be difficult to win.
The Conviction Suspension for First Time DUI
Pursuant to Vehicle Code Section 13352, when a person is convicted in court of first time DUI, the DMV shall suspend their driver’s license for six months. The court immediately notifies the DMV of all first offense DUI convictions. Thus, the only way for you and your Orange County DUI attorney to avoid this driver’s license suspension is to get your charge dismissed, to negotiate a reduction in charge to a wet reckless or other traffic offense, or win at trial. Like the APS suspension, the conviction suspension can be shortened to one-month of actual suspension followed by restriction for five to 10 months.
Running Your First Offense DUI Suspensions Together
The periods of actual suspension for the APS and conviction suspensions can be run together, concurrently. However, this is only true where the APS suspension precedes the conviction suspension. You will NOT get credit for APS suspension time that happens before the conviction suspension begins. Thus, minimizing the length of actual suspension is something of an art form practiced by DUI attorneys.
Free Consultation With An Orange County DUI Attorney
We offer a free and confidential telephonic consultation with an experienced Orange Count DUI attorney. Call The Law Office of EJ Stopyro at (949) 559-5500 today.