Los Angeles DMV Hearing Attorney

Los Angeles DMV Hearing Attorney

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – or DUI – can have serious consequences, especially if you incur a conviction. Soon after sustaining a DUI, you will likely need to attend a hearing before the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

An experienced Los Angeles DMV hearing lawyer at Rodriguez Law Group can represent you at your hearing and can argue for the reinstatement of your license. We can also represent you during other legal proceedings in your DUI case, argue a defense on your behalf in court, or pursue a favorable plea deal. Our goal is to help you obtain the best possible result in your DUI case.

For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a knowledgeable Los Angeles DMV hearing attorney, please call us at (213) 995-6767 or contact us online for more information.

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Why Choose Us for Your Legal Needs?

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DUI convictions can result in serious penalties and collateral consequences, including the loss or suspension of your driver’s license. At Rodriguez Law Group, we can represent you at your DMV hearing and other legal proceedings in pursuit of a favorable result.

Our lawyers have a strong track record of success when it comes to favorably resolving and litigating DUI cases in the criminal court system, and our clients have honored us with a 10.0 rating on Avvo. To see some of our most recent client reviews, click here.

Our Downtown Los Angeles Office is conveniently located at 626 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 460, Los Angeles, CA 90017.

What Happens at a DMV Hearing Following a DUI in Los Angeles?

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Following a DUI in Los Angeles, individuals typically face two separate proceedings: a criminal court case and a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) hearing. The DMV hearing focuses specifically on the status of the individual’s driver’s license and is separate from any criminal charges they may be facing.

At a DMV hearing, an administrative law judge, rather than a judge in criminal court, presides over the proceedings. The primary purpose of the hearing is to determine whether the individual’s driving privileges should be suspended or revoked as a result of the DUI arrest.

During the hearing, the DMV presents evidence related to the DUI arrest, such as the results of chemical tests indicating the individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of arrest and the arresting officer’s report. The individual or their attorney then has the opportunity to cross-examine any witnesses and present evidence on their behalf.

One common defense strategy at a DMV hearing is to challenge the legality of the traffic stop or the procedures that law enforcement officers followed during the arrest. If the stop or arrest was found to be unlawful, any evidence obtained as a result – such as BAC test results – may be deemed inadmissible.

Another defense is to challenge the accuracy and reliability of the BAC test results. This can involve questioning the calibration and maintenance of the testing equipment or presenting evidence of medical conditions or other factors that may have affected the accuracy of the test.

After considering the evidence and arguments presented, the administrative law judge will make a decision regarding the individual’s driving privileges. If the judge determines that the DMV has met its burden of proof and that the individual’s driving privileges should be suspended, they will issue an order reflecting the terms of the suspension.

It’s important to note that the outcome of the DMV hearing is separate from the outcome of any criminal proceedings related to the DUI arrest. However, the DMV’s decision can have significant implications for an individual’s ability to drive legally in California.

How Can a Los Angeles DMV Hearing Lawyer Help You at Your Hearing?

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  • One way a DMV hearing lawyer can help is by preparing a strong defense strategy tailored to the specific case circumstances. This may involve challenging the legality of the traffic stop or the procedures that law enforcement officers followed during the DUI arrest. By carefully reviewing the evidence and identifying any procedural errors or violations of the defendant’s rights, the lawyer can strengthen the accused individual’s (the defendant’s) position and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.
  • Additionally, a DMV hearing lawyer can represent the defendant during the hearing, presenting arguments, questioning witnesses, and advocating for the defendant’s rights and interests. This can be especially beneficial for defendants who may feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the legal process or who are unfamiliar with the rules and procedures governing DMV hearings.
  • Furthermore, a good DMV hearing lawyer can leverage their knowledge and experience to negotiate with the DMV on behalf of the defendant. This may involve seeking alternative resolutions, such as a restricted license that allows the defendant to drive to work, school, or other essential activities during the period of license suspension.
  • Another important role of a DMV hearing lawyer is to provide guidance and support to the defendant throughout the hearing process. This includes explaining the defendant’s rights, advising them on the potential consequences of various courses of action, and helping them make informed decisions about how to proceed in their case.

The experienced Los Angeles DMV hearing lawyers at Rodriguez Law Group can provide valuable assistance and representation throughout the process. Our team is well-versed in California’s DUI laws and procedures, and we fully understand the complexities of DMV hearings. We can aggressively represent you at your hearing and help you make intelligent and informed legal decisions.

What are the Potential Legal Penalties for a Los Angeles DUI Conviction in Court?

A DUI conviction in Los Angeles can also result in severe legal penalties. First, upon conviction, the court may impose fines ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending upon the circumstances of the case and whether it’s a first-time offense or a repeat offense. Additionally, individuals convicted of a DUI may face:

For example, a first-time DUI offender may face up to six months in jail, while subsequent offenses can lead to longer sentences.

Legal Elements of a Los Angeles DUI Charge

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In Los Angeles, as in many jurisdictions, the legal elements of a DUI charge that a state prosecutor must satisfy are carefully defined. These elements form the basis of the case against the defendant and must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction.

  • First, the prosecutor must establish that the defendant was operating a motor vehicle. This typically involves demonstrating that the defendant was in physical control of the vehicle while it was in motion, even if only momentarily. This can include driving on a public road or highway, but it can also encompass other situations, such as sitting in the driver’s seat with the keys in the ignition.
  • Secondly, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant was under the influence of alcohol or drugs when they were operating the vehicle. This can be established through various means, including the results of a breathalyzer or blood test showing the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was at or above the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Additionally, the prosecutor may rely on observations by law enforcement officers, such as slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, or the smell of alcohol on the defendant’s breath.
  • Thirdly, the prosecutor must demonstrate that the defendant’s ability to operate the vehicle was impaired by the consumption of alcohol or drugs. This impairment can manifest in various ways, such as decreased reaction time, impaired judgment, or difficulty maintaining control of the vehicle. Evidence of erratic driving behavior, such as swerving or weaving between lanes, can also support this element of the charge.
  • Finally, the prosecutor must establish that the defendant was aware of – or should have been aware of – their impairment at the time of operation. This can be inferred from the circumstances surrounding the arrest, such as the defendant’s admission to drinking alcohol or consuming drugs prior to driving.

What are Some Defenses to a DUI Charge in LA?

Facing a DUI charge in Los Angeles can be scary, but there are several defenses that individuals can use to challenge the accusations.

  • One common defense is to contest the validity of the traffic stop. Law enforcement officers must have a valid reason, such as a traffic violation or reasonable suspicion of DUI, to pull someone over. If the stop was not lawful, any evidence obtained afterward, such as field sobriety tests or breathalyzer results, may be deemed inadmissible in court.
  • Another defense revolves around the accuracy and reliability of the chemical tests used to measure blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Breathalyzer machines can produce false readings due to various factors, such as improper calibration or user error. Challenging the accuracy of these tests can weaken the prosecution’s case against the defendant.
  • Additionally, individuals may challenge the manner in which field sobriety tests were conducted. These tests, such as the walk-and-turn or one-leg stand, are designed to assess a person’s coordination and balance, which can be affected by alcohol consumption. However, factors such as medical conditions, fatigue, or uneven terrain can impact performance on these tests, leading to false indications of impairment.
  • In some cases, individuals may argue that they consumed alcohol or drugs after they stopped driving, rather than before. This defense, known as the “rising blood alcohol” defense, asserts that the individual’s BAC was below the legal limit while they were driving but increased to illegal levels by the time they were tested. Supporting evidence, such as witness testimony or receipts from establishments where alcohol was purchased, may bolster this defense.
  • Furthermore, individuals may challenge the arresting officer’s observations and testimony. Law enforcement officers must follow specific procedures when conducting DUI investigations, and any deviations from these procedures can call the validity of the arrest into question.

Ways of Resolving a DUI Case in Los Angeles

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Resolving a DUI case in Los Angeles involves several options, one of which is negotiating a plea deal with the prosecution. In a plea deal, the defendant agrees to plead guilty or no contest to a lesser charge – or to the original charge with a recommendation for a reduced sentence. This can be an attractive option for defendants seeking to avoid the uncertainty and potential harshness of a trial.

Another way to resolve a DUI case is through diversion programs. These programs allow first-time offenders to complete certain requirements, such as attending alcohol education classes or performing community service, in exchange for having the charges dismissed or reduced. Successfully completing a diversion program can help individuals avoid a criminal conviction and its associated consequences.

Additionally, defendants may choose to contest the charges at trial. During a trial, the prosecution must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. By presenting evidence, cross-examining witnesses, and challenging the prosecution’s case, defendants can seek to persuade the judge or jury of their innocence or raise doubts about the sufficiency of the evidence against them.

Alternatively, defendants may opt to negotiate a plea to a “wet reckless” charge. A wet reckless charge is a lesser offense than a DUI and typically carries lighter penalties. It involves a plea to reckless driving with a notation that alcohol was involved. While still a misdemeanor, a wet reckless charge may result in reduced fines, shorter license suspension periods, and less severe collateral consequences compared to a DUI conviction.

Ultimately, the best approach for resolving a DUI case in Los Angeles depends on the specific circumstances of the case, including the strength of the evidence, the defendant’s criminal history, and their personal goals and priorities.

The knowledgeable DUI defense attorneys at Rodriguez Law Group can help you understand your options and make informed decisions about how best to proceed with your case.

Contact an Experienced Los Angeles DMV Hearing Lawyer Today

Los Angeles DMV Hearing Lawyer

If you are currently pending a DUI charge in Los Angeles, the skilled legal team at Rodriguez Law Group can represent you during all legal proceedings in your case, including your DMV hearing. During these proceedings, we will fight for your rights and aggressively pursue the best possible result in your DUI case.

For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a skilled criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles, please call us at (213) 995-6767 or contact us online.