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Los Angeles DUI and the DMV Administrative Hearing Process


Los Angeles DUI and the DMV Administrative Hearing Process

After a DUI arrest in Los Angeles, the California DMV will immediately move to suspend your driver’s license if you failed or refused chemical BAC testing. You have the right to challenge the suspension at a DMV administrative per se hearing.

Understanding how this hearing process works and having an experienced DUI lawyer represent you at the hearing gives you the best chance to avoid a suspension. Here’s an overview of key topics related to DMV hearings after a Los Angeles DUI:

  • The administrative per se hearing process
  • What the DMV must prove
  • How to request a hearing
  • Evidence rules
  • Potential defenses
  • Having a lawyer represent you

Overview of the DMV Administrative Hearing

After a DUI arrest, the officer will confiscate your license and issue you a temporary 30-day permit. Once the DMV processes the arrest report showing you failed or refused BAC testing, they will suspend your license and you’ll get a notice in the mail.

You then have 10 calendar days to request an administrative hearing to fight the suspension. This is your only chance to challenge the DMV’s action. Here’s how the process works:

  1. Request a hearing within 10 days of receiving the suspension notice
  2. The hearing will typically be held within 30 days
  3. The hearing is conducted by phone with a DMV hearing officer
  4. The arresting officer will testify about the DUI investigation
  5. You can testify, present evidence, and cross-examine witnesses
  6. The hearing officer makes a final decision after the hearing

What the DMV Must Prove

At the hearing, the burden is on the DMV to present evidence justifying the suspension. This includes proving:

  • The officer had reasonable suspicion to stop you
  • The officer had probable cause to arrest you for DUI
  • You were properly advised of the implied consent law
  • You failed or refused BAC testing when required

If the DMV fails to establish these facts, you should win your hearing and avoid the suspension.

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Evidence Rules at DMV Hearings

The hearing officer must follow California evidence rules. Key things to know:

  • Hearsay evidence is admissible
  • The officer’s sworn statement is admissible
  • You can object to improper opinions and conclusions
  • You can object to documents not certified under seal

Make sure you understand the evidence rules so you can raise proper objections during the hearing.

Potential Defenses at the Hearing

Some of the most common DMV hearing defenses include:

  • No probable cause for the DUI arrest
  • Breath or blood test procedures were flawed
  • Officer failed to advise you of the implied consent law
  • Errors in the officer’s sworn statement
  • You were denied your right to a blood or breath test choice

An attorney can help evaluate which defenses apply to your case and challenge the DMV’s evidence.

Having a Lawyer Represent You

Navigating the DMV hearing process without legal help is extremely difficult. Hiring a DUI lawyer provides these key benefits:

  • Reviews police reports to identify issues
  • Subpoenas body cam footage
  • Conducts pre-hearing witness interviews
  • Raises objections to inadmissible evidence
  • Questions the arresting officer
  • Presents factual and legal defenses
  • Handles all paperwork and communications

Let an attorney handle the hearing to give you the best shot at victory.

Consequences if You Lose the Hearing

If you lose the DMV hearing, your license suspension will go into effect. You won’t have any driving privileges for the length of the suspension.

You’ll need to retake the written license exams to reinstate your license once the suspension term ends. An ignition interlock device may also be required.

Your Hearing Occurs Separate from Court

It’s important to understand the DMV hearing is an administrative civil proceeding, completely separate from your criminal DUI charges.

Even if your DUI criminal charges get dismissed or reduced, you can still lose your DMV hearing and face suspension. The hearing outcome does not impact your criminal case.

Suspension Periods

Here are the typical DMV license suspension periods after losing your administrative hearing:

  • 1st Offense – 4 Months
  • 2nd Offense – 1 Year
  • 3rd Offense – 3 Years

These are mandatory minimums. The DMV cannot make exceptions or allow restricted licenses.

Your 10 Day Deadline

Missing the 10-day deadline to request a hearing results in an automatic suspension. This deadline cannot be extended.

Act immediately to contact the DMV and request your hearing after receiving a suspension notice. Time is of the essence.


Fighting your DUI suspension at a DMV hearing is complex but absolutely essential. Partner with an experienced attorney to maximize your chances of victory and avoid suspension.

Understanding the administrative per se hearing process puts you in a better position to defeat the DMV’s case. Don’t take chances with your license – request your hearing today.


[1] https://www.losangelescriminallawyer.pro/los-angeles-dui-and-the-dmv-administrative-hearing-process.html

[2] https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/driver-education-and-safety/dmv-safety-guidelines-actions/administrative-hearings/

[3] https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/driver-education-and-safety/educational-materials/fast-facts/driver-safety-administrative-hearings-process-ffdl-26/

[4] https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/driver-education-and-safety/dmv-safety-guidelines-actions/driving-under-the-influence/

[5] https://www.wedodui.com/dmv-hearings/

[6] https://www.dmv-defenders.com/the-10-day-rule-at-administrative-per-sedui-dmv-hearings/


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