If you are arrested and charged with DUI in California, the arresting officer completes a document (called the “Officer’s Statement-Admin Per Se”) advising the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of your arrest. The DMV automatically suspends your driver’s license unless you contact – within 10 days – your local DMV Office of Driver Safety and request a license suspension inquest. To keep your license – and before you do anything else – it’s vital to get help from an experienced California DUI defense attorney.

DMV employees frequently encourage those requesting a license suspension inquest to accept a hearing conducted by telephone; sometimes DMV employees simply arrange an inquest by telephone without advising the accused of the right to an in-person hearing. A good DUI defense lawyer will usually insist on an in-person hearing. If a telephone hearing has already been scheduled, a good DUI defense lawyer may contact the DMV and reschedule it as an in-person hearing. Ensuring that a inquest has been requested is one of the first items your attorney will verify. The best thing to do is to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney immediately after your arrest and have your attorney schedule the hearing. Remember, this must be done within 10 days of your arrest.

When the request for a license suspension inquest has been made, a hearing date is set. If the DMV cannot schedule a hearing within 30 days of the arrest, and the request was made within 10 days of the arrest, an extension or “stay” of the license is made available. A defendant is eligible for a stay until a decision regarding the license suspension has been made. It’s best to have an experienced DUI defense attorney guide you through each part of the process; any incomplete paperwork or missed deadlines may ruin your effort to retain your driving privilege. If you are charged with DUI now or in the future, protect yourself – and your license – and contact an experienced DUI defense attorney immediately.