If you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in California, you are likely facing two separate legal proceedings: a criminal case and an administrative case. The administrative case involves the suspension or revocation of your driver's license by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), while the criminal case involves charges brought by the prosecutor in the court system.
One key aspect of the administrative case is the administrative per se (APS) hearing, which is a hearing held by the DMV to determine whether your driving privileges should be suspended or revoked as a result of the DUI arrest.
In this blog post, we will provide an overview of the APS hearing process and what you can expect if you are facing an APS hearing in California.
What is the Administrative Per Se Hearing?
The APS hearing is a DMV administrative proceeding that is separate from any criminal case that may be pending against you. The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether your driver's license should be suspended or revoked as a result of your DUI arrest.
Under California law, the DMV is authorized to suspend or revoke the driver's license of anyone who is arrested for DUI and either:
- Fails or refuses to complete a chemical test (such as a breathalyzer or blood test) to determine their blood alcohol concentration (BAC); or
- Has a BAC of 0.08% or higher.
If you are arrested for DUI, the arresting officer will typically take your driver's license and issue you a temporary license that is valid for 30 days. During this time, you have the right to request an APS hearing to challenge the suspension or revocation of your driver's license.
How to Request an APS Hearing
To request an APS hearing, you must contact the DMV within 10 days of your DUI arrest. You can do this in person at a DMV office, by mail, or by phone. It is important to act quickly, as failing to request a hearing within this timeframe can result in an automatic suspension or revocation of your driver's license.
At the time you request an APS hearing, you will be given a temporary license that is valid until the hearing is held and a decision is made. The hearing must be held within 30 days of your request.
What Happens at an APS Hearing?
The APS hearing is conducted by a DMV hearing officer who is not a judge or an attorney. The hearing officer's role is to listen to evidence presented by both you and the DMV and to make a decision about whether to suspend or revoke your driver's license.
During the hearing, both you and the DMV have the right to present evidence and testimony. This can include testimony from witnesses, such as the arresting officer or anyone who was with you at the time of the DUI arrest, as well as any physical evidence or documents related to the case.
The DMV will typically present evidence of the chemical test results and the circumstances surrounding your arrest, such as the reason for the traffic stop and any statements you made to the arresting officer. You will have the opportunity to cross-examine the DMV's witnesses and present evidence to challenge their testimony.
After the hearing, the DMV hearing officer will make a decision about whether to suspend or revoke your driver's license. If the decision is to suspend or revoke your license, the suspension or revocation will take effect 30 days after the decision is made.
Appealing an APS Hearing Decision
If the DMV hearing officer decides to suspend or revoke your driver's license, you have the right to appeal the decision. The appeal must be filed within 30 days of the decision and will be heard by a Superior Court judge.
Keywords: California DUI, administrative per se hearing, DMV hearing, DUI defense attorney, license suspension, DUI penalties