Orange County, CA Criminal Defense Law Blog

Monday, September 15, 2014

You Could Lose Your License For DUI Arrest, Even If Not Convicted
Driving under the influence is a serious problem in the United States.  Even so, it is important to remember that not all who are arrested for the crime are guilty.  Unfortunately, even those who are not guilty can face serious consequences.  

Statistics show that approximately 186,000 people were arrested in 2011 for DUI in the State of California.  Around 20% of these people were not convicted of the crime.  Unfortunately, many of them still had their licenses suspended after beating the charges.  This is because a California law allows the Department of Motor Vehicles to suspend the license of an individual that was arrested for driving with a higher than allowed blood alcohol level.  In this instance, even if a judge determines that there is not enough evidence to proceed with the case or the charges are dropped for another reason, the DMV can still decide that you are guilty and restrict your driving privileges for a certain amount of time.  If you are acquitted of the charges after trial, the DMV is forced to lift the suspension.

The arresting agency is the one that will initially take away your license.  After you are arrested, they will suspend your license and issue you a restricted one.  Then, the DMV is provided with an official report of the incident and begins its process.  A hearing officer reviews the case and either decides to confirm or overturn the suspension.  The accused does have a right to hearing and if they request one, evidence they submit can also be reviewed.

A non-profit group has recently challenged the law and is claiming that it is unconstitutional as the hearing officer functions as a representative of the DMV and the decision maker at the same time.  They also allege that hearing officers are often pressured into deciding for the DMV and can face penalties if they do not.

DUI is a serious offense and can have direct and indirect consequences.  If you have been arrested or are suspected of a crime, you should call Orange County, CA attorney Mark Raymond McDonald at (888)-686-7874 for a consultation today.

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