License Following an Oakland First Offense DUI
If you have been accused of a first time DUI in California, it may be a stressful time, especially considering the factors coming into play. Some issues could arise with your license following an Oakland first offense DUI, and a capable first offense DUI attorney could help combat those for you. Contact an Oakland criminal defense attorney today for a free consultation.
The Process of License Suspension
When someone is first arrested for a DUI, their license may be confiscated and they could be issued a temporary license that is good for 30 days. The individual could request an administrative hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) which is separate from the criminal prosecution. If one does that, their temporary license may continue to be in effect until the administrative hearing takes place.
If the case is resolved for a negotiated disposition, the person’s driver’s license may be suspended by the DMV. The suspension is for six months for a first-time offense and the person may apply for a restricted license. That extends the period of suspension but may allow the person to only drive to important places, such as a court-mandated DUI class or program. An administrative suspension for a DUI could be anywhere from four months to one year.
Difference Between Criminal Court and a DMV Hearing
One unique factor that makes a DUI different from other offenses is the person may be fighting in two forums. There could be a criminal case filed against them and prosecuted in the court system. There may also be a DMV administrative hearing.
Prevailing in one forum does not necessarily mean the person prevails in both. It may be a possibility that one could prevail in the criminal hearing, by being found not guilty. However, a person still may be subject to a suspended license if the administrative hearing upholds that suspension. One may prevail in the administrative hearing but could settle the case in the criminal court system or be found guilty after a trial.
Challenging a Suspension
When someone’s license is confiscated pursuant to a DUI, it could be suspended at the DMV administrative hearing if the arrest could be determined as valid. To determine the validity, the officer must have had a reasonable cause for the stop, and the blood alcohol concentration was found to be .08% or higher.
A way to challenge the suspension could be to argue that it be set aside at an Administrative Per Se hearing with the DMV. This hearing could allow the defendant to contest a suspension, and potentially get their rights back.
Options Instead of a License Suspension
One way to potentially preserve a license following an Oakland first offense DUI may be by giving a driver safety office notice within ten days of the arrest that the suspension is being contested. In this incident, a wet reckless, a reduced DUI charge similar to reckless driving, may be given.
This could be important because it may not result in an automatic court or administrative suspension. A Helmandollar deal could also be given which is when there is a plea that could be taken when a person pleads no contest. If secured, the defendant could avoid 30 days of a hard suspension and immediately eligible for a restricted license.
Applying for a Restricted License
Someone could only apply for a restricted license if they are convicted, not just charged. Once an individual is convicted and placed on probation, they could apply, enroll, and begin the DUI driving classes. For a first-time DUI, the class is usually a 3-month program, and the person could apply for the restricted license once they register, pay for, and begin DUI classes. In addition to proof of enrollment, the driver may also need to provide proof of the following:
- SR-22 insurance
- Proof of installation of an ignition interlock device, specifically in Alameda County
- Serve a 30-day hard suspension
- Pay license reinstatement fee
Once receiving a restricted license the driver may be allowed to drive to specific locations, such as work and DUI school.
If Acquitted, How Could Someone Get Their License Back?
When someone is acquitted of a DUI, they could get their license following an Oakland first offense DUI back through the DMV. The DMV gets a notice from the criminal court system called an abstract of judgment that the person’s case was dismissed or acquitted. Dismissal of the criminal case or an acquittal after a trial in a criminal case might not result in one’s license being returned if the DMV previously suspended it at the administrative hearing.
Contacting an Oakland First Offense DUI Attorney
If you have been accused of driving while under the influence, an issue with your license following an Oakland first offense DUI, could be confusing. Contact a driven Oakland criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to get started on your case.