Protecting Drivers’ Rights in Kern County
If you face DUI charges and have a DMV hearing in Bakersfield, you need legal help fast. Having a professional DUI attorney from Koenig Law Office in your corner provides you with years of experience and the education needed to fight for your rights. Attorney Bo Koenig has successfully handled many DUI and DMV-related cases. He has over 100 hours of education and toxicology labs work, which allowed him to achieve the prestigious ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist Designation. Having Bo Koenig defend your DUI, can be the difference between a conviction, reduced charges, or dismissal.
The 10-Day Rule for Requesting a DMV Hearing
At a DMV hearing in Bakersfield, the future of your driver’s license will be determined at a DMV office — not at a criminal court. The issues at the DMV hearing are very technical. If you fail to vigorously attack the evidence, then your driver’s license will be suspended. After a DUI arrest in or around Bakersfield, California, the arresting officer will normally confiscate your physical license and subsequently issue you a paper temporary license that will be valid for 30 days.
The arresting officer will then forward a notice of suspension to the DMV. This is where it gets tricky. If you want to save your license, you only have 10 days to request a hearing. This time period starts the night you were arrested. So if you do not request a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest, then your license will more likely be automatically suspended after 30 days.
How to Win a DMV Hearing in Bakersfield
Just because you were arrested for DUI does not mean you were guilty, or that the arresting officer acted within the law. There are many issues that the hearing officer must consider.
Some issues include questions such as:
- Did the arresting officer have probable cause to believe you were driving under the influence?
- Were you lawfully arrested?
- Did you have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or greater at the time of driving?
- If you allegedly refused to submit to a DUI chemical breath or blood test, were you told that your driving privileges would be suspended for one year or revoked for up to three?
After your hearing, the DMV officer will either suspend your driver’s license or set-aside suspension.
The hearing officers that decide your fate are not lawyers or judges and have no formal legal education. Unfortunately, this could mean that the facts of your case are not weighted properly, and you could be subject to a driver’s license suspension because of faulty reasoning. This is why it’s important to have a skilled lawyer on your side. They can point out facts and present evidence in your favor.
If the hearing officer does not decide in your favor, all hope is not lost. You may file a writ of mandate to have your hearing reviewed by a superior court judge. Pursuing this type of legal action can help you seek a more favorable result.
Defense Strategies for DUI
One of the most common defense strategies for DUI is that you were not driving. Maybe you were sleeping it off in your car. If you were arrested for DUI and didn’t drive or had no intent to drive, being arrested for DUI is unlawful.
Perhaps you were arrested at an illegal DUI or driver’s license checkpoint. Even if you were driving under the influence, if the arrest checkpoint didn’t follow legal requirements, you could win at your DMV hearing in Bakersfield.
Depending on the circumstances, you may also raise the defense that there was a Title 17 violation. Title 17 provides that law enforcement and other officials must follow specific protocols when conducting chemical tests to determine BAC levels. If the sample isn’t collected, stored, or analyzed correctly, results could be skewed and suggest you were driving under the influence when you weren’t.
Another defense that may be mounted on your behalf is that your DUI stop and/or arrest were unlawful. Before an officer can pull you over on suspicion of driving under the influence, they must have adequate legal cause to do so. They can’t just go off a hunch; they must have observed you engaging in behavior that suggested you were doing something illegal. If the officer did not see such conduct but pulled you over regardless, your stop may be deemed unlawful. Additionally, if the officer arrested you, but failed to follow correct procedures, such as reading your Miranda Rights, you may be entitled to exclude subsequent admissions.
Factors Involved in Determining Length of Driver’s License Suspension
During the DMV hearing, a hearing officer will consider a couple of factors when determining the amount of time your driver’s license will be suspended for. They will look at the officer’s report to see whether or not you took the chemical test.
If you took a chemical test and had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more, your driver’s license may be suspended for up to 4 months (for a first offense). If this happens, we can almost immediately get you back driving on a restricted license and avoid any hard no-driving suspension.
The length of driver’s license suspension increases when you refuse the chemical test. Then, you could be looking at losing your driving privileges for up to 1 year (for a first offense) and this result would not allow you to obtain a restricted license. The entire one-year suspension is a hard no-driving suspension.
Seeking a Restricted Driver’s License
If your driver’s license is suspended, our attorney can quickly get to work on applying for a restricted driver’s license. Effective January 1, 2019, any DUI arrests may qualify for a restricted driver’s license that will allow you to drive anywhere and at anytime; however there are some situations that will prevent a restricted license from issue (such as a refusal).
Schedule a Professional Legal Consultation Today
When you face a DMV hearing because of a DUI arrest in Bakersfield, our DUI attorney team at Koenig Law Office can help. To learn more about our legal services and how to beat your DMV hearing in Bakersfield and maintain your license, call our California law office today.