After a person is arrested for Driving Under the Influence in California, the person will be subject to two different legal proceedings: one will occur in criminal court and the other is overseen by the California DMV. Because both proceedings have their own unique sets of rules and regulations the experience of a DUI defense attorney is of critical importance. During the California DUI court process, the individual will face punishment from a judge if convicted of drunk driving. Possible punishments include a jail sentence, probation, fines, completion of DUI School and a driver’s license suspension. The DUI court process is juxtaposed by the DMV process where the defendant’s driving privileges are determined.
How to Write a DUI Appeal Letter to DMV
Once a person is arrested for a DUI, the police officer will confiscate the person’s driving license and issue them a 30-day permit to continue driving. This permit acts as an official notice of the person’s license suspension. Once arrested for DUI, the defendant has 10 days to request a hearing with the DMV to appeal the driver’s license suspension. Failure to request an appeal within 10 days forfeits the person’s right to be heard. If a hearing is not requested after 10 days, the individual’s license will be suspended for a period to be determined by a judge. Once that period has past, the defendant can apply for reinstatement of their driver’s license as long as they have completed DUI School paid a reinstatement fee, submitted an SR-22 insurance form and possibly install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
At a DMV hearing, the defendant has the opportunity to challenge evidence, present witnesses, cross-examine witnesses and testify on their own behalf. At the end of the hearing, the DMV will review the case and issue a decision on the driver’s license suspension. Similar to a court case, the defendant and his attorney must raise arguments as to why the offender is not guilty of the crime.
If the DMV does not rule in the defendant’s favor, he or she still has the opportunity to appeal the decision. In order to do so, the defendant must file a Writ of Mandate to request the court to reverse the DMV’s decision. Additionally, this appeal must be conducted within a short time frame and there is a $120 fee for the initial DMV review. Applying for a Writ of Mandate is not inexpensive and can cost between $2500 and $3500 once the process is finalized. If the local court denies the appeal, the defendant has the right to request that the California Court of Appeals reviews the case.
Conclusion: How to Write a DUI Appeal Letter to DMV
Writing a DUI appeal letter is a costly and long process; however, for anyone who believes his or her driver’s license was wrongfully suspended the appeal process may be the only option. Filing an appeal should only be done with the assistance of a competent DUI attorney.
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