CALIFORNIA DUI ARRESTEES HAVE ONLY 10 DAYS AFTER ARREST TO SAVE THEIR LICENSES.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Santa Barbara, most likely the police officer who arrested you seized your physical license and mailed it to the Department of Motor Vehicles with a document that will result in the suspension of your driving privilege effective 30 days subsequent to your arrest. The pink sheet which is likely crumpled up in your wallet or purse states in eight-point type that you have 10 days to request departmental review. This occurs when you request a hearing on the legality of the suspension, and a stay (i.e., “extension”) of the effective date of the suspension. If you do NOT make the notice within the first 10 days:
1. Your privilege to drive in California will be impacted for at least 4 months
2. An absolute driving prohibition lasting 30 or more days will kick in on the 31st day after the arrest
3. You will have no opportunity to contest the legality of the suspension
4. You will not be able to get an extension on the effective date of the suspension
5. You will, at least, have to take the 3 month DUI first offender class (which costs at least $637) and possibly a longer class
6. You will have an auto insurance company file proof of financial responsibility with the department (aka initiating a 3 year SR-22 or “high risk” auto insurance policy)
Let us notify the DMV for you. It’s free of charge and does not obligate you to hire us.
Most people who are made aware of the above consequences elect to make the notification. We will be happy to notify the DMV for you. It’s free, and doesn’t obligate you to hire us. Simply contact us to make arrangements.
You can also notify the DMV yourself. While you may do so by calling the DMV Driver Safety Office nearest the location of the arrest, it pays to make your request in writing for the following reasons:
1. If you keep a copy of the letter or fax confirmation, you will have written evidence of the communication, and its contents, in the event that the Department loses the record of your telephone call
2. You will be more likely to be understood as requesting not only a hearing, but a stay
3. You may clearly state your request for discovery (e.g., the police report and notice of other evidence which the department intends to produce to prove their case at the hearing.)
While it doesn’t hurt to mail a letter Certified with a return receipt requested, notifying the DMV by fax is a good option. You should consider that the mail may not arrive for several days and you don’t want to end up arguing with the DMV about the date you actually sent them the notice. If you choose to fax your notice, make sure that your fax machine’s date and time are correct, and that you generate a printed confirmation that the fax was received successfully.
Once you have notified the DMV, you will most likely want to obtain representation at the DMV hearing. See the box at right for more information.
Call us now at (805) 892-4922 for a free, no obligation consultation, or email us at [email protected].