California DMV Hearing

If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI), it is important that you contact the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to schedule an Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing within ten (10) days of your arrest. If a hearing is not requested within the 10 day period, which includes weekends and holidays, your driver license will automatically be suspended for a minimum of 30 days.

Suspension of License

When a person is arrested for DUI and has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, the arresting officer will take away the person’s license at the time of the arrest. After taking the individual’s license, the officer will issue him or her a temporary driver’s license, which allows the person to drive for a period of 30 days. Within ten days (10) of the arrest, the individual must contact the California DMV to schedule an Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing in order to contest the terms of his or her license suspension. If a hearing is not scheduled within ten days (10) of the arrest or if an individual refused to submit to a blood alcohol test, the person’s driver license will be automatically suspended.

Logistics of the Hearing

The DMV hearing may take place in person or over the phone. During the hearing, a DMV employee will act as both the prosecutor and the judge. It is the DMV hearing officer’s job to evaluate the offender’s case carefully. The DMV representative must determine whether or not the officer had probable cause for making the arrest, whether or not the arrest was properly executed, and whether or not the offender had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% at the time of the arrest in order to decide the fate of the individual’s driving privilege.

Refusal Cases

In cases where the person refused to submit to a BAC test, the DMV representative must determine if the person was informed that his or her license would automatically be suspended for failing to consent to the test. The representative must also determine if the person actually refused to take the BAC test after being informed of the suspension. If the accused motorist is unsuccessful at the California DMV hearing, the length of the driver’s license suspension will be substantially longer than for a driver who submitted to a chemical test.

DMV Decision

California driver’s license suspensionsAfter all of these issues are considered, the DMV hearing officer will reach a decision. If the DMV representative decides based on the evidence provided that the individual is “not guilty,” the person’s driving privileges will be reinstated. If the person is found “guilty,” his or her driver’s license may remain suspended for a period lasting between 4 months (for a first offense) and 3 years (for multiple offenses).

DMV Administrative Per Se hearings can be won, but usually only with the assistance of a DUI defense attorney with specialized knowledge of the DMV hearing process.

Devermont & Devermont
Attorneys at Law

429 Santa Monica Blvd. #210   •   Santa Monica, CA 90401
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"Derek is a competent professional lawyer who knows how to get things done without the bureaucratic process found at most firms. I was in need of help quickly and Derek stepped up right away with the know how and tenacity to tackle any problem. I felt completely comfortable being out of town and having Derek take care of my issue and he solved it with ease. I recommend him greatly and would absolutely work with him in the future." Dan F


"After being cited for a Misdemeanor DUI, I was influenced by many to just face the consequences because "hiring a lawyer never works out in your benefit". I was terrified and confused until I met Mr. Devermont so I decided to take my chances. He assured me that I didn't have to worry anymore, and even at times where I wanted to give up he fought harder. My BAC was .11 but Derek managed to get my citation reduced to a dry reckless. I would highly recommend him to anyone!" Kelly B


"Derek Devermont is the best DUI lawyer anyone can ever ask for. Not only is he competent and industrious, Derek would go the extra mile for his clients to ensure the best possible outcome. I was unfortunately charged with DUI when I was 20 years old. Without me doing anything (appear in court, speak to the judge, etc), Derek won the case for me. Derek's favorite saying goes like this "don't worry, leave the worrying to me. I'm your lawyer." Thanks to Derek, I was able to keep my driving privileges, and preserve my life. He secured a not guilty verdict and erased any license suspension. " Jennifer F