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How the DMV in California Deals with DUI Arrests

In California, if you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), there are two processes that will be going on. First, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) wants to suspend your driving privileges in California. Second, the State of California wants to punish you by incarcerating you for a maximum of 6 months in jail for a first-time DUI, plus a sizeable fine.

If you possess a California Driver’s License (CADL) and are arrested for driving under the influence, the police officer will normally take your CADL and give you Temporary Driver’s License (TDL), which is good for only 30 days. This particular DMV Form (DS-367) is usually pink and states that your CADL will be suspended after 30 days unless you contact the DMV within 10 calendar days.

If the police confiscate your CADL, our team here at the Law Office of Ivan O.B. Morse suggest you obtain a California Identification Card issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles as soon as possible.

If you are an out-of-state driver and you get arrested for a DUI, the police normally will not confiscate your driver’s license. However, the police will give you the pink DMV Form DS-367 that states you must contact the DMV within 10 calendar days, or your driving privilege in the state of California will be suspended in 30 days.

Act Quickly & Don’t Take All the DMV’s Advice

We have had many cases where a driver arrested for an alleged DUI and will go to a local DMV office and advise the clerk that they were arrested for a DUI. After showing the clerk the pink DMV form, many times the clerk will advise the person that they can wait until the criminal case is heard. The criminal case is normally 30 to 60 days after the arrest, though. This is contrary to the DMV notice that states they must contact the DMV within 10 calendar days — and it is therefore not usable advice at all.

The DMV Notice (DS-367) given to you by the police officer states you must contact the DMV within 10 calendar days after your arrest and schedule a hearing. 10 calendar days means every day counts, not just weekdays. If you contact the DMV and schedule a hearing, you will be given a temporary license until the hearing takes place. If you don’t contact the DMV in that time, your temporary license given to you by the police at the time of your arrest will be suspended after 30 days.

You may either call the DMV — the right phone number should be on the pink form — and/or fax a 10-day notice requesting a hearing. If the Department is unable to schedule the hearing within 30 days, ask the DMV to send you a temporary license and proof that a stay is in place for your driving privilege in California. While you are communicating with the DMV, please request that they send any and all documents that it plans to use in its case in chief.

You are entitled to receive all information including:

  • Police reports
  • Your alleged blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of driving
  • All field sobriety tests (FSTs) conducted

Once you receive discovery, you are entitled to subpoena including but not limited to MVAR’s, the dashboard-mounted cameras used in many police cruisers, as well as chemical test information.

All of the forgoing are important to use in defense of whether or not you were under the influence at the time you were driving. This is a complicated process and we advise you contact a criminal defense attorney in your area for support, guidance, and representation.

Need a defense attorney in Dublin? Call 888.865.0741 to connect with our law firm. We are known for our thoroughness with handling DUI cases, including obtaining discovery and subpoenaing necessary information to best protect your rights and privileges. Attorney Ivan Morse is a former Oakland police officer with extensive experience handling DUI cases from the other side of the legal system. Let his background become your advantage – contact us today!