Los Angeles Limited Driving Privileges Lawyer
Los Angeles Limited Driving Privileges Lawyer
Losing your license after a DUI in Los Angeles can be a huge hassle. But with the help of an experienced lawyer, you may be able to get limited driving privileges back. This article explains everything you need to know.
DUI Penalties in California
California DUI penalties are no joke. For a first offense, you could face up to $3600 in fines and fees, 6 months in jail, a 6-10 month license suspension, and more. Penalties get worse for repeat offenses. And if you refused a chemical test, you’ll lose your license for a full year on a first offense.
There are two types of license suspensions after a DUI:
- DMV Administrative Suspension – The DMV will suspend your license if you are arrested for DUI or refused a chemical test. This happens automatically and is separate from any court penalties.
- Court-Ordered Suspension – The judge can order an additional license suspension as part of your DUI sentence.
These two suspensions run concurrently. So if the DMV suspends your license for 6 months, and the judge orders a 5 month suspension, you’ll have to go without driving for 6 months total.
Getting a Restricted License
In some cases, you may be able to get a restricted driver’s license with limited driving privileges after a DUI. This allows you to drive to work, school, AA meetings, and other essential places during your suspension.
To get a restricted license in California after a DUI:
- You must enroll in a DUI program and file proof with the DMV
- You can’t drive for 30 days after your arrest
- You must have valid auto insurance
- You must pay a $125 reissue fee
- You can only drive to specific places outlined in the restricted license
You won’t qualify for a restricted license if:
- You refused chemical testing
- You have two or more DUIs in 10 years
- You were under 21 at the time of the DUI
Talk to an attorney to improve your chances of getting a restricted license. They can walk you through the process and help craft a strong argument to the DMV.
After a DUI arrest, you have 10 days to request a DMV hearing to contest the automatic license suspension. This is separate from your criminal court case. At the hearing, the DMV will decide if your license should be suspended based on the police report.
It’s important to request a hearing to get your side of the story on record. An attorney can help by:
- Pointing out problems with the police report
- Raising doubts about the accuracy of breath or blood test results
- Arguing there was no probable cause for the traffic stop
- Negotiating with the DMV for a shorter suspension term
While the DMV only suspends licenses administratively, they rely heavily on the police report. So fighting the suspension early on can help weaken the criminal DUI charges down the road.
Getting Your License Back
The DMV will not automatically reinstate your license once the suspension period ends. You must apply for reinstatement and pay a $125 fee. If eligible, you can get a restricted license during this process.
To get your full driving privileges back after a DUI suspension in California, you must:
- Wait out the full suspension period
- Pay all fines and fees
- File an SR-22 insurance form
- Complete DUI school and treatment programs
- Pass a driving test at the DMV (for repeat offenses)
An attorney can walk you through this process to ensure you meet all requirements. Having legal representation can also speed up the reinstatement process.
Getting Around Without a Car
Dealing with a license suspension in Los Angeles without a car can be challenging. But public transportation and ride sharing services make it possible to get by.
- Buses – LA Metro provides extensive bus routes throughout the county.
- Light rail – Metro Rail and Metrolink trains connect major destinations.
- Ride hailing – Uber, Lyft, taxi services.
- Carpooling – Arrange rides with coworkers, friends, and family.
- Biking – LA has an expanding network of bike lanes.
You may need to budget extra time for commutes. But with some planning, you can maintain your regular schedule and responsibilities without driving.
Why Hire a Lawyer?
Here are some key benefits of having a lawyer assist with your DUI case and license suspension:
- Navigate complex DUI laws and penalties
- Craft persuasive arguments to prosecutors and the DMV
- Obtain DMV hearing to contest the suspension
- Improve chances of getting a restricted license
- Ensure you meet all reinstatement requirements
- Avoid common mistakes that delay reinstatement
An experienced DUI lawyer understands all the technicalities involved in regaining your license after a suspension. They can walk you through the process, help minimize the suspension period, and get you back on the road legally.