What is a DMV Revocation Hearing?

At Spital & Associates, we will also handle the driver’s license revocation or suspension conducted as a DMV Administrative Hearing. When you retain us as your defense attorney, we will represent you in both the Superior Court case as well as the DMV administrative hearing, iif requested within 10 days of the police encounter. The DMV hearing can provide us with insight into the criminal charges, an advance examination of the police report and associated evidence, as well as an opportunity if the officer testifies.to question him prior to your criminal trial.

Remember, you have only 10 calendar days from your arrest to request a DMV hearing, or we will do it for you if we are retained in sufficient time. If not requewsted, your California driver’s license will be suspended. We recommend requesting a DMV Administrative Hearing because this is an opportunity to have the suspension thrown out; if not, however, your suspension will generally take effect later than the 30 days you are given to drive after being arrested.

The DMV Administrative Hearing is conducted by a Hearing Officer who is a State of California employee. This person is generally not an attorney, but acts as both the “judge” and “prosecutor.” He can, for example, rule on his own objections. The hearing is conducted like a miniature trial without a jury and with very relaxed rules of evidence. Testimony can be produced by both sides, although the Hearing Officer usually only produces documents, such as police reports, laboratory reports and the officer’s sworn affidavit upon which a decision is rendered.

In summary, you will be prosecuted by two agencies (the City Attorney/District Attorney and the Department of Motor Vehicles) if you are arrested for driving under the influence in California. Each agency handles its matters differently. The criminal justice system is a complicated system and the consequences of a DUI are severe.

If your case involved property damages and/or personal injuries as a result of your DUI arrest or charge, we are available to assist you to resolve this with the Auto Insurance Company, either or both the adverse insurer and your own carrier. It is important to have your own advocate to assure your insurance case is quickly resolved as this too can be used as mitigation.

Do not assume your arrest will be private. It is not uncommon to get dozens of letters from attorneys soliciting your case after your DUI arrest. These lawyers purchase a list of the names and addresses of individuals who have been arrested for driving under the influence or drunk driving; these lists are typically called “jail mail.” Although the letters may be annoying,  they will be received by anyone who is at your address of record (on address on your driver’s license), which includes your spouse, your children, or other family members. For those who use their employer’s address on their driver’s license, the consequences can be even more grave. While we know our clients are innocent until proven guilty, there are others who treat the DUI arrest as evidence of wrongdoing.

DUI Hearing After a Motion to Suppress

At Spital & Associates, our team of drunk driving lawyers confer and collaborate to analyze the facts and circumstances, including the applicable laws and defenses. In appropriate cases, we may file a pretrial Motion to Suppress in Superior Court, which is a legal document that we demand the Court exclude the evidence the prosecutor is relying upon to win the DUI. If the Court agrees to hold an evidentiary hearing, the officer will be required to testify and this affords one more opportunity for us to cross-examine him. Essentially, we are looking for inconsistencies between the arrest report and the officer’s testimony at this motion hearing and at the DMV Administrative License Hearing if the officer testified. The officer’s credibility is a key test to his competency, and the charges may be dismissed if we are able to exclude such evidence.

Is the DMV Hearing different than the DUI Criminal case?

The DMV hearing is an administrative hearing that deals solely with your driving privilege and the circumstances surrounding the DUI arrest; it is not a venue to determine whether you are innocent or guilty of any criminal wrongdoing. At the DMV Administrative Hearing, there are only two legal issues:

  • If you took a blood, breath or urine test:
    • Did the peace officer have reasonable cause to believe you were driving a motor vehicle in violation of Vehicle Code Section 23140, 23152, or 23153?
    • Were you placed under a lawful arrest for the charges?
    • Were you driving a motor vehicle when you had .08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in your blood at the time of your arrest?
  • If you refused or failed to complete a blood, breath or urine test:
    • Did the police officer have reasonable cause to believe you were driving a motor vehicle in violation of Vehicle Code Section 23140, 23152, or, 23153?
    • Were you placed under a lawful arrest?
    • Were you told that if you refused to submit to or failed to complete a test of your blood, breath, or urine, your driving privilege would be suspended for one year or revoked for two or three years?
    • Did you refuse to submit to or fail to complete a blood, breath or a urine test, after being requested to do so?


For a free attorney consult, you can send us an email or call the Managing Lawyer at 619.583.0350 from 7am to 9pm daily.

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8880 Rio San Diego Drive, Suite 800
San Diego, CA 92108-1642
Telephone: 619.583.0350
Fax: 619-583-1850

Chula Vista Associate’s Office
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Chula Vista, Ca. 91910
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Associates available 7am-9pm daily.
Call 619.583.0350 or send us an e-mail.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.