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Know Your CA DMV Rights

If you are arrested for driving under the influence, you do have certain legal rights.

The first thing you should do if arrested is to immediately contact the DMV to set up an APS hearing. This hearing allows you to contest the suspension of your privilege to drive in California and is separate from the court proceedings. It is very important to contact the DMV within ten (10) days of your arrest. By doing so, and if you request it a new temporary license will be mailed to you. It’s good until you receive the written results of your hearing. This is significant because currently hearings are being set 45-60 days from the date you first call. The temporary license you are given when arrested is only good for 33 days.

The phone number to the San Diego Division of Driver Safety (for hearings due to San Diego County arrests) is 858.627.3901. If you arrest is in Orange County call 949.440.4416.Los Angeles County call City of Commerce 213. 724.4000 or El Segundo 310.615.3500.

Warning… Warning… Warning… Warning… Warning… Warning… Warning…

If you fail to call the DMV within 10 days of arrest and set a hearing, your license will be automatically suspended. Your privilege to drive will be returned to you however, if you win your DMV APS hearing, APS Review hearing, or Writ Lawsuit. You have nothing to loose by requesting a hearing!

HERE IS WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOU CALL THE DMV:

  • Tell them you are calling to set up an APS (Administrative Per Se) hearing.
  • Tell the DMV you request a stay of suspension and a new temporary license good until you receive the results of the hearing (usually scheduled within 45-60 days). Make sure the DMV has your correct mailing address to send the new license to.Please note, that if you did not have a valid license when arrested, this new temporary license will not allow you to legally drive.
  • Tell the DMV you want to set the hearing yourself and will make sure the lawyer you hire is available at the time of your hearing if you decide to hire a lawyer.
  • Request an “in person” hearing. The hearing can always be changed to telephonic hearing later if necessary.
  • Request that the DMV mail you “discovery”. That means the police and chemical test reports.

Do not discuss the details of your case when setting the hearing.

DON’T LET THE DMV DISCOURAGE YOU FROM SETTING A HEARING – YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO A HEARING SO LONG AS YOU CALL WITHIN 10 DAYS OF YOUR ARREST.