You’ve just been arrested for DUI. Now the question is—“What should I do next?” The most important action to take after being arrested for a DUI is to seek out an attorney who extensively works on DUI cases. Time is of the essence because you only have 10 days to set a DMV hearing. Otherwise you will automatically lose your license. By setting the hearing you will get a stay of suspension of your license—which means you will keep your license at least until the DMV makes a decision on the hearing.
The DMV hearing should always be handled by an attorney. People often ask me if they can handle the hearing. The analogy I give is the question, “If you had an electrical problem in your house would you re-wire your own house?” You need a professional who knows what he or she is doing, and has handled such hearings many times! Many people think that if they blew or gave blood and the result is over .08 then why get an attorney? I always hear “I’m already screwed.” Not true. DMV hearings are won on defects and mistakes in the officer’s report or procedure.
Here are some examples:
- Insufficient proof of driving
- The officer gives inadequate reasons in the report of what legal violation necessitated the stop of your vehicle, or the officer makes an illegal detention (example: blocking a parked car in which a driver is suspected of being under the influence)
- The chemical (blood, breath, or urine) was taken more than 3 hours after driving
- The report does not give an accurate time of driving or when the chemical test was taken—therefore the 3 hour rule cannot be proven by the DMV
- Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations was not followed
- There was no 15-minute observation period before the breath test was performed
- There is a rising blood-alcohol defense
- The officer will often write the wrong date/time in the report—this will save your license
- The officer did not advise properly on your right to refuse a chemical test
- The officer does not show up to the hearing
Hiring an attorney, setting the DMV hearing on time, and reading the reports provided by the DMV (the Discovery) can save your license, and later lead to a dismissal of criminal charges. Saying, “I was drunk and stupid for driving” and not at least requesting a DMV hearing and getting the discovery is a mistake. I have won a .27% BAC case because the officer wrote a deficient report. The consequences are enormous if you lose your license and/or are convicted in criminal court of DUI. The financial costs are enormous! The intelligent action is to set the DMV hearing and get an attorney to read over the reports. The more intelligent choice is to hire an attorney immediately after being arrested for DUI.