How Long Is My Driver's License Suspended After a DUI Arrest or Conviction?

In a California DUI matter, two different processes are at work that may affect your driving privileges. The first is the administrative DMV process. After your DUI arrest, you will be issued an Order of Suspension, which takes effect 30 days after your arrest. You can contest this suspension at a DMV hearing, but you must request this proceeding within 10 days of being issued the notice. The second is the criminal process. If you're found guilty, your driver's license will be suspended upon conviction.

Length of Administrative Suspension Periods

The length of the administrative suspension depends on your circumstances. For instance, if you were arrested for your first DUI offense, you face a 4-month driver's license suspension. If this is your second offense within 10 years of the previous, the suspension period is for 1 year.

You may also face an administrative suspension for refusing to take a chemical test after your arrest.

In such a situation, you could face a:

  • 1-year suspension for a first offense,
  • 2-year revocation for a second offense within 10 years, and
  • 3-year revocation for a third offense within 10 years

Suspension Periods Resulting from a Conviction

The administrative driver's license suspension periods are separate from those resulting from a conviction. It's important to note that you may be subject to the loss of your driving privileges resulting from the DMV's decision even if you are not convicted for driving under the influence.

As with the administrative processes, the length of time you can lose your driving privileges after a conviction depends on your specific circumstances.

The following are the driver's license suspension and revocation periods for a DUI conviction:

  • First offense: 6 months
  • Second offense within 10 years: 2 years
  • Third offense within 10 years: 3 years
  • Fourth or subsequent offense within 10 years: 4 years

Requesting a Restricted Driver's License

When you're subject to a driver's license suspension or revocation, whether as part of administrative or criminal processes, you cannot legally drive on public roads in California. If you knowingly drive with a suspended or revoked license, you may be charged with a misdemeanor and face jail time and/or fines.

To be eligible for a restricted drivers license, you must:

  • Be enrollment in a DUI program
  • Have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle
  • Provide proof of SR-22 insurance
  • Pay a DMV reissue fee

Reinstating Your Driver's License

Your driving privileges are not automatically reinstated after your suspension or revocation period. You must apply for reinstatement, providing proof of SR-22 insurance and that you have completed a DUI program.

If you were charged with DUI in Bakersfield, reach out to Koenig Law Office by calling (661) 793-7222 or submitting an online contact form. We can provide the defense you need for your DMV hearing as well as your criminal case.