Putting Your License Suspension on Hold
If you've received notice that the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will suspend your driver license, you might be wondering what, if anything, you can do to keep your license. You might have a specified period of time before your suspension goes into effect. Take advantage of this time, and speak with an attorney. You might be able to save your license if you take action quickly. A knowledgeable attorney might be able to get a “stay” of your license suspension.
A stay is a court order that suspends the action being taken (i.e. the suspension). Stays can only be issued under certain circumstances, so let's take a look at how you can get one.
When arrested for a DUI, your license will be confiscated, and you will be given a temporary license good for 30 days. You will also receive a notice that your license will be suspended after those 30 days have passed. If you do nothing, the suspension will go into effect 30 days after your arrest, but you have the right to request an administrative hearing with the DMV. The sole purpose of this hearing is to refute the validity of the suspension. If you prevail, the DMV license suspension will not go into effect in 30 days. If you don't, it will. Regardless of if you think you will prevail, you should request a hearing. The worst that can happen is your license will be suspended according to the notice, but requesting the hearing and a stay could mean you have more than 30 days until your license is suspended. If you need to arrange for alternative transportation, make arrangements with your work, or otherwise prepare for the suspension period, this saved time could make a big difference.
You must request your administrative hearing within ten days of your arrest. You should have an attorney help you with this. An attorney can then request a stay of your license suspension, which will mean your temporary license could be valid for longer than the 30 days. The stay will remain in effect until your administrative hearing has been held and the DMV makes a decision. Because of the backload of administrative hearing cases the DMV must manage, you could end up waiting several weeks for yours. If your attorney obtains a stay for you, you can keep driving during this process.
A stay simply puts your suspension on hold. If you do not prevail at your administrative hearing, your admin per se license suspension will go into effect. But it can allow you to stay on the road while you await your administrative hearing, which you have a right to request. This is especially important for those who were wrongfully arrested for a DUI.
Speak with an attorney if you've received notice your license will be suspended. It is crucial that you take quick action if you want a stay of your suspension. An attorney can help you request an administrative hearing and obtain a stay of your suspension, so you can keep driving until the DMV conducts a thorough review of your case. Your attorney can also help prepare you for your hearing. The purpose of the hearing is limited: to establish whether or not the suspension is justified. This requires a review of the available evidence and possibly testimony from a witness. You have a right to present your evidence and call witnesses to testify on your behalf. This is an important opportunity to fight your license suspension, so you should make sure you are prepared and have skilled legal assistance during this process. An attorney can help you challenge the evidence being held against you or might be able to save your license. And, if you are facing criminal charges as well, an attorney can help you prepare for your criminal court hearing, too.
If you are in the Tulare, Fresno or Kings County area and have questions about a license suspension, call experienced criminal defense attorney Christopher Martens today for expert counsel. At The Law Offices of Christopher Martens, we can help you fight for your license so you can stay on the road. With over ten years of criminal defense experience, attorney Martens is ready to defend your rights. Contact our Visalia or Hanford, CA offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] to discuss a possible plan of action for your case.