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Vista DMV Hearing Lawyer


Fighting to Preserve Your Driving Privileges – Call (760) 630-2000

When you are arrested for suspected driving under the influence (DUI), the police will confiscate your license and send it to the California DMV. In exchange, the arresting officer will issue you a pink slip of paper that notifies you of your pending driver’s license suspension and acts as a 30-day temporary driving permit. When this time period expires, your license will be automatically suspended unless a hearing is scheduled with the DMV to contest your suspension. You only have 10 days after your arrest to contact the DMV and request a hearing.

At jD LAW, our knowledgeable Vista DMV hearing lawyer has defended hundreds of clients against drunk driving charges since 1990 and can handle both your criminal case and DMV hearing on your behalf. With more than 30 years of experience and the invaluable insight of a board-certified criminal law specialist, we have what it takes to ensure your rights are protected and maximize your chances of preserving your driving privileges. To speak to us in a free, confidential case evaluation, call our office at (760) 630-2000.


The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we can help. Schedule your free case review today.


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What Happens at a DMV Suspension Hearing?

When you are charged with a DUI, the officer who pulled you over should confiscate your license and provide you with a temporary one. This temporary license will last for 30 days, after which your license will be suspended. For first-time offenders, this suspension will last for four months after the temporary license expires. However, the officer should also inform you that you have 10 days to request a DMV hearing. If you fail to schedule or attend this hearing, your license will automatically be suspended. This hearing is separate from a DUI criminal trial.

While DMV hearings are in many ways more relaxed than court trials, they are still serious and must be treated as such. Your arresting officer will have submitted a sworn report to the DMV about you drunk driving case, which will be reviewed by a DMV hearing officer for the purposes of determining if your license should be suspended. While DMV hearings give you an opportunity to prove that your suspension is wrongful, these hearings operate on a lesser burden of proof that criminal trials, meaning that it is easier for a hearing officer to prove your guilt than in a criminal proceeding.

You will be asked three different questions at your DMV hearing:

  1. Did the officer have sufficient reason to believe you were under the influence?
  2. Were you arrested lawfully?
  3. Did you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher?

As a former police officer, our firm’s founding attorney Jim Dicks understands the process of challenging a license suspension and can greatly improve your chances of achieving a favorable outcome, saving your driving privileges in the process. From challenging evidence to attending the hearing on your behalf, we can carry the legal heavy lifting and put you in the best possible position for success.

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Requesting a Restricted License

Even if the DMV hearing results in a license suspension, you may still be able to request alternative sentencing. California DMV hearings allow defendants to request a restricted license, which will let them drive under strict guidelines. The court may also impose these guidelines as a punishment. For first-time offenders, the two options are:

Ignition Interlock Devices (IID): An IID is a device that can be installed in your vehicle that ensures the vehicle cannot be turned on unless the operator passes a breathalyzer test. This device may be requested in a DMV hearing or ordered by the court. Once you have installed the device in your vehicle, you may visit the DMV to request a restricted license, but you will also need to show proof of insurance and be admitted into a DUI treatment program.

Employment/Treatment Program: You may also request a restricted license that only allows you to travel to work or a DUI treatment program. This option is only available if you have served the first 30 days of your four-month suspension and you are currently enrolled in a DUI treatment program.

Both options require a $125.00 fee for first-time offenders, but additional fees may apply for repeat offenders.

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Can a Suspension Be Overturned?

It is more difficult to succeed in a DMV hearing than a criminal trial, but you do have one other option if your license is suspended. If your attorney can get your DUI charges dropped in the criminal trial, then the license suspension can be overturned, and your license can be returned to you. In both a DMV hearing and a criminal trial, it is important to have an experienced Vista attorney at your side who understands how to craft a strong and thorough defense.

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Retain the Powerful Representation You Need

Being arrested for DUI can be an extremely frightening experience – and it is not one you should consider enduring alone. Our Vista criminal defense lawyer understands that good people can sometimes find themselves in difficult situations, and we are prepared to do everything within our power to help you get through this experience with your reputation and freedom intact. Backed by a proven history of success and an unshakable dedication to preserving your wellbeing, you can trust that your case is sure to be in excellent hands.

You do not have to plead guilty – contact our Vista office today to review your legal options.

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James N. Dicks

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A note from James N. Dicks:

If you feel uncomfortable with an in-person meeting due to the recent surge in COVID-19, our office is offering remote appointments via phone and Zoom. Please call or email us to set up your appointment.


James N. Dicks
jD LAW, P.C.

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COVID-19 Announcement

If you feel uncomfortable with an in-person meeting due to the recent surge in COVID-19, our office is offering remote appointments via phone and Zoom. Please call or email us to set up your appointment.

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