Arrested for DUI? Here are 3 things you must do now!
When you were arrested the officer took your driver license and should have given you a pink document, which is an order of suspension and temporary license. This temporary license is good for 30 days from the date it is given to you. After the 30 days, a suspension of your driver license will go into effect automatically unless you preserve your hearing rights within 10 days from arrest. The length of the suspension will depend on if you have prior DUI convictions in the past 10 years.
If you preserve your hearing rights with the DMV within 10 days of receiving the pink document, all suspension action against your driver license will be stopped and no suspension will go into effect until the DMV hearing process is completed. The purpose of the DMV hearing is to contest the arrest and suspension to save your driver license so that no suspension occurs.
Be advised that special rules apply to the DMV hearing process that are different than the court case. In addition, the issues at a DMV license suspension hearing are:
- Did the officer have probable cause to believe that you were driving under the influence of alcohol?
- Were you lawfully arrested?
- And, at the time of driving was your blood alcohol concentration at least .08%?
The goal in defending a DMV hearing and saving your driver license is to show that one or more of the above issues are not supported by the evidence.
Using your computer, write down all of the things that you can remember from the time the police officer stopped you, all the way through the DUI investigation, and the arrest and booking into jail. It is important to use your computer if you can so that you can save the draft of your written statement and review it later. Because of the traumatic experience of being arrested, you may not remember all of the details at first, so in a few days you should review your written statement and then add anything you might have forgotten. By documenting all of your memories in this way, you will have all of the details ready to provide to your lawyer. If you donÕt have a computer, use paper and pen to write down everything that you remember.
Remember to be as detailed as you can. Start from the moment you saw the red lights behind your car as you were driving.
Reason for stop and initial contact: Why did the police officer stop you? Write down everything that you remember and what the officer told you when he walked up to your window. Did the officer ask you if you had been drinking alcohol? What was your answer? What happened next?
Field Sobriety Tests:
Did the officer have you perform field sobriety tests? Did the officer tell you that field sobriety tests are voluntary tests? Did you perform them? Which tests did you perform?
Preliminary Screen Breath Test:
Did the officer ask you to blow into a breath testing device? Did the officer tell you that this breath test was voluntary and that you have a right not to take the test? Did you blow into the device? How many times did you blow? Do you know what the result was?
After you were arrested, did the officer tell you of your choice to blow into a breath device or give a blood sample? What did the officer say? Which test did you choose? If you gave a blood test, where were you when they drew your blood sample? Which arm did they draw the blood from? Were there any issues regarding the blood draw? Was there any bruising of your arm afterwards? If there was bruising on your arm after the blood draw, did you take a photo of the bruised arm? Did you observe anything else about the blood draw? If you chose a breath test, where were you when you blew into the breath test machine? How many times did you blow into the machine? Do you know what the result was? Did you observe anything else about the breath test?
Where did the officer take you after you were arrested? Did anything unusual happen during the arrest or booking process? What court do you have to appear in and on what date (look at bottom of the Notice to Appear that you received).
The above are just general questions regarding a typical DUI investigation and arrest. Be sure to add anything else that relates to your specific case.
If you were arrested for a drug/medication DUI (this includes marijuana), the officer should not take away your driver license as the DMV will not try to suspend your driver license solely on the fact that you were arrested. Therefore, there is no need to preserve your DMV hearing rights within 10 days of arrest, as this only happens when you are arrested for an alcohol DUI arrest.
However, keep in mind that if you are convicted in court for driving under the influence of a drug or medication, including marijuana, the DMV will then suspend your driver license based on the court conviction. The length of the suspension will depend on if you have prior DUI convictions in the past 10 years.
If you are arrested for drug/medication DUI, write down all of the things that you can remember from the time the police officer stopped you, all the way through the DUI investigation, as discussed above in section 2. In addition, and if applicable, be sure to gather all of the prescriptions for medications that you had taken. This is very important.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding DUIs
- The DMV WILL WORK to suspend your license.
- The District Attorney will begin a case to prosecute you for criminal charges in county criminal court.
The good news is that our office successfully defends clients in both proceedings. Even though both the DMV and Court proceedings arise from the same DUI arrest, each proceeding is independent from the other and each is handled differently. We understand what it takes to defend against the DMV and the Court. The best advantage you can provide to your defense team is TIME. Contact us immediately for an overview of your rights and responsibilities.
- The peace officer who arrested you was obligated to take your license and notify the DMV of your arrest. The DMV is in the process of suspending your license as you read this sentence.You hold a pink 30 day temporary license which will expire and then your driving privilege will be suspended if you do nothing.
The good news is that our office can contact the DMV on your behalf and request a hearing and a temporary license while we defend you at the DMV and in Court. The window of time to contact the DMV to request a hearing is SMALL
You only have 10 days from the date of arrest. Call us now so we can contact the DMV immediately and begin your defense.
- Once the DMV is made aware of your arrest, they start paperwork to suspend your license and do not automatically provide a hearing for you to defend your driving privilege.
The good news is that our team can contact the DMV on your behalf and schedule an administrative hearing for you to defend your driving privilege. You will receive another temporary license in the mail from the DMV before the Pink temporary license expires. You will be able to continue to drive normally until the DMV hearing process has been completed and the DMV issues their ruling—the Findings and Decision.
- The DMV can impose different consequences for all different types of cases. Some drivers are eligible for temporary licenses after varying levels of time while others not at all.
The good news is we can provide a detailed explanation of what to expect at the DMV hearing based on your specific situation. We have also successfully defended against all types of cases. Contact our team now and we can explain how we can defend you.
- If caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.01% or more while under the age of 21, penalties can be more severe.
The good news is our team can successfully defend drivers that are
under age 21 in Court and at the DMV. To learn more about how we can assist drivers in this situation contact us immediately, time is crucial as you only have 10 days from the arrest to preserve your DMV hearing rights.
- If you refused a chemical test after you were arrested, both the Court and the DMV will work to impose more severe consequences on you.
The good news is that we can defend you in a chemical test refusal case both in Court and at the DMV. Our expertise and understanding of these unique type of cases allows for us to provide you with a high level defense.
- Typically, after being arrested you were released on your own recognizance (OR) after spending a few hours in jail. In addition, you were given a Notice to Appear that you signed promising to appear in Court on the date indicated. This is referred to as a “cite and release,” which is how most DUI cases are handled. The Court date is your Arraignment hearing which is your first Court Appearance.
The good news is you still have time for a professional DUI Defense team to prepare a successful defense and appear in court for you. In most cases you will not have to appear. Contact us immediately and we can let you know what to expect in your upcoming court case.
- If you plead GUILTY at the Arraignment hearing you will be convicted of the crime of DUI and punished at that time. This is usually not a smart thing to do as you have not seen any of the evidence at this point.
The good news is we can appear in Court for you, enter a NOT GUILTY plea on your behalf (YOU MAY NOT HAVE TO BE PRESENT AT THE ARRAIGNMENT), and then investigate the facts of your case and analyze all of the evidence that the District Attorney has against you. We will analyze the arrest report, chemical test results, and any audio/video recordings that exist, as well as other evidence. What most people don’t realize is that it is NOT illegal to drink alcohol and drive a car! It is only illegal if you are driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or it is illegal to drive with a BAC of 0.08% or more. The District Attorney must prove the case against you with reliable evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. We are experts in DUI defense and can start working on your defense now.
- Occasionally the District Attorney’s office does not file a complaint listing the charges against you by the date indicated on the Notice to Appear that was given to you at the time of your arrest. This is not uncommon and usually happens because the District Attorney’s office is behind in its work. In a misdemeanor case, they have one year from the date of arrest to file the complaint listing the charges against you. In a felony case, three years.
The good news is our office will track the progress of our client’s case by monitoring the Court’s records to see when the complaint is filed by the District Attorney. In addition, if the District Attorney has not filed a complaint by the scheduled arraignment date, we will have the Court Clerk date stamp the ‘Notice to Appear’ as evidence that we appeared on or client’s behalf thus satisfying the promise to appear.
My office will advise our clients if no complaint has been filed when we appeared at the Arraignment. We will also calendar any new Court dates and advise our client once a complaint has been filed.
- There are some circumstances that your appearance in court may be required such as: having prior DUI convictions, having an auto accident with injuries, or if the prosecutor is asking that bail be set due to the facts of your case. If your case has charges that are felonies, your appearance in court is required.
One of the benefits of having private counsel is that we can make the court appearances on your behalf. In many cases the Court Clerk handles the pre-trial appearances. So the judge never deals with the case. You will not be looked at by the court or prosecutor any differently if you do not appear. Nor will it affect the outcome of your case.
- Occasionally, because of prior DUI convictions or a high blood alcohol concentration allegation, the judge will require you to attend a certain number of AA (Alcoholic Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meetings.
If this is the case, you will be required to provide proof of attendance of those meetings to the court at each court appearance. Our staff can provide your proof of attendance to the court when required saving you time and piece of mind.
The rules regarding the DMV Administrative hearings, its procedures, and evidentiary issues are very complicated and are different from the procedures of the court criminal case. Our professional DUI defense team understands what it takes to successfully defend you. If you have additional questions or specific questions about your case, please contact our office so we can assist.
-Do Not Hesitate To Contact Our Office If You Were Arrested for DUI-
Don’t hesitate to reach out!
Please contact us if you or someone you know recently got a DUI. DUI cases are EXTREMELY time sensitive. We’ll be happy to answer your questions at no cost or obligation. Our team typically contacts you back immediately when available, if not always the same day. For immediate assistance use our contact phone numbers below.
Our Riverside Office
Riverside , CA 92501
Our Cathedral City Office
Cathedral City, CA 92234