When a California traffic stop leads to a charge of driving under the influence, quite a bit hangs in the balance. If you receive a conviction for drunk, you may face many different penalties, including possible jail time, fines and the suspension of your driver’s license. In some cases, you may lose your right to drive after a DUI charge before you receive a conviction for the offense, but you may be able to fight the suspension by requesting an administrative hearing at the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles.
Per the California DMV, the point of the administrative hearing is to give you an opportunity to explain why the DUI charge against you lacks merit. If you want one, you need to make the request for it within 10 days of the date of your DUI arrest.
How the hearing works
The administrative DMV hearing is a license suspension hearing and involves your driver’s license, exclusively. A different court process determines the other criminal penalties you may face for drunk driving. During the hearing, the DMV does have the ability to suspend your driver’s license. However, it does not have the power to fine you or put you in jail.
How it affects your license
If you request the DMV hearing within the appropriate timeline, you get to hang on to your license until it takes place. You may also be able to maintain your license after the hearing, depending on its outcome.
If you want to schedule a DMV hearing, you must do so at your local DMV driver safety branch office before the 10-day window passes.