Q: Got a DUI – should I speak to lawyer before calling DMV?
My husband has been charged with a DUI. At the time he was not in his car (he was pulled over and stopped on a freeway rest stop), the keys weren’t in the ignition. He was given 10 days to call the DMV to request a hearing to get his license back. Should he speak to a lawyer beforehand or have one with him? Or is it a straightforward process? I’m not sure if it’s relevant but his court date isn’t until August.

​A: There is never a “straightforward process” in the law. There are rules, and there are exceptions. Many lawyers offer free consultations, you should call one (or, two) and ask about the process. He should at least consult with an experienced attorney for advice and education about the DMV hearing process, and the presentation of evidence necessary at that hearing. He doesn’t have to have the attorney before ‘timely’ contacting DMV to set up the hearing, but needs the education before going.
He should consult and hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent him, not only in the DMV hearing, but in the criminal case in court.



Q: Missed DMV Hearing?
I had a DMV hearing but they never called at my appt time they sent me a letter of suspension license as of March 20 can I drive for 30 days after my suspension in CA?

​A: The date is on the letter, you might want to take the letter to a DUI defense attorney to see what happened, especially since you requested a hearing, it may be possible to get the suspension lifted, the hearing reinstated and held.



​Q: Can you assist us with a dui charge for our underage son?
He was pulled over for going over speed limit and it lead to dui charge.

​A: Many DUI defense attorneys offer free consultations which typically include a discussion of the facts of the case, possible defenses and likely outcomes. As un under-age DUI your son faces a one year license suspension, this can be especially devastating as he tries to get his life moving forward. You have 10 days from his arrest to request a DMV hearing, many lawyers will make the DMV request at the time of the consultation.


​Q: Can this forced blood DUI test be beat?
My boyfriend from Huntington Beach was pulled over yesterday, St. Patrica Day, for “driving too slow” at the light or at a turn. He refused a breathalyzer because he felt this was harassment. The police held him down at the station and took a blood sample, is this legal in CA? I know under probable cause they can take blood but is this enough reason for probably cause? Is there a way we can view how the sample was processed/handled? Would the time he left the bar to the time he was processed through the station and tested be taken into account? He usually balances his drink with a tall glass of water. I don’t believe he was over the limit when he left the bar. I’ve been followed out of the bar by police claiming I was “swerving” when I don’t drink alcohol, I’m usually DD. I feel that’s what happened last night because of the holiday. He was driving fine.

​A: Yes, this is legal, but the police needed to get a warrant first. Did they? Your scenario presents possible grounds to file a motion to suppress evidence under Penal Code section 1538.5. There are likely issues related to consent and accepted medical practices. A good DUI attorney will make the prosecutor (and jury) take into account the driving pattern, time between driving and blood test, and how the sample is processed/ handled. The right attorney will understand police procedures, gas chromatography, fermentation science, and the science of alcohol absorption and elimination…



Q: Can I start the “driver’s license” process from scratch?
In 2008 I got a DUI and it kind of messed everything up in life to where I was homeless and didn’t have means to get to the classes or to pay for any of the classes or any of the fines and fees so I kind of just let it go. And here’s 12 years later where I’m finally getting my life back together and I want to be able to drive to and from work. I got pulled over here the other day and was told that my license was suspended and that I basically can’t drive anymore so what can I do to not have to pay those fine and fees and or take the DUI classes since it’s been over 12 years that I had the DUI in the first place?

​A: The only way you will qualify to get a license, in any state, is by complying with and completing all the things CA DMV and the court ordered you to do originally. Yes, you can start over, but not in applying for a ‘new’ license, but by paying all fines and starting over any and all classes and programs you may have started but not completed. You can contact DMV to determine what specific things you must do now.
If you get caught driving on suspended license, it is a new misdemeanor crime.


Q: I had a dui in august of 2008. I never did the 18 month program (second dui). Is there a statute of limitations on this?

I entered the 18 month program 10 years ago and they reinstated my license, but suspended it again after not completing the course. It’s been 14 years since that dui. Can I get my license back or do I still have to do that course?

​A:  You still have to do the 18 month program. Statute of Limitations applies to the time to file a criminal case against a suspect. The question is do you have a Bench Warrant for not submitting proof of completion to the Court!
You are probably going to need paperwork from the DMV to re enroll in the SB 38 program. You can try contacting the program you had started to see if they will give you credit for the classes you attended. That is a long shot due to all the time that has passed.
You are also risking a new charge of Driving on a Suspended license (VC 14601.2) if you are stopped before you get your Privilege reinstated.


Q: Can I take my dui case to trial, I wasn’t driving and was sitting in passenger seat parked ?
Left a bar was drinking because of some personal family issues. So my friend was driving me home… Tire had a blow out. It was 11pm he had to work at 5am. I told him that I will car my family to come and have it towed. So he got picked up and left. I stayed in passenger seat sleeping then a chp knocked on the door and got me out and questioned me about the situation. I told him I wasn’t driving and my friend who was had to go. He arrested me for DUI. It’s been over a year since I pleaded not guilty and nothing has happened yet….

A: You seem to have waived your right to a speedy trial. You can tell your attorney you want to withdraw the waiver and set the matter for trial. To convict, prosecution has to prove you were operating a vehicle while intoxicated, not sitting in one.


Q: So 11 years ago I got a dui and did all that was required of me classes everything even sr-22 and now I’d like my license back
I just wanna know what I would have to do to get my license back since it was 11 or 12 years ago and will they require me to get a dui interlock device on a vehicle when I get one as for paper work I did not keep any of it is that going to be a problem since it was so long ago also this is in California thank you for your time

A: You’ll have to call the DMV to find out. Phone the Mandatory Actions Unit at (916) 657-6526. Select option #9. You also might want to call the court of your conviction to confirm that you have satisfied all court-ordered sanctions as well.


Q:  Does refusing a chemical test in California automatically mean time (48 hours?) in jail? Is there any way out of that?

A:  Speak with a dui attorney. refusal does not automatically mean 48 hours jail. The constitutionality of California implied consent law requiring jail for a refusal is in question after a supreme court ruling last year. it is my opinion it cannot be enforced. You also may have defenses to the actual dui


Q:  A well known store that sells alcohol sold my daughter beer, drank with her on the premises while working, gave her a pill and asked for a ride home. Three separate employees on the clock, sold her beer, gave her a xanax pill and asked for a ride home. She doesn’t remember leaving the store, she crashed into a telephone pole and woke up in a jail cell while they were drawing blood. The ticket said there was 1 male passenger. She doesn’t even know if she drove. It was 10 houses away from our home. Why wasn’t an ambulance called? She doesn’t remember leaving the store. Why would they let her drive? One sold her the beer, one gave her the pill, and one got into the car with her and let her drive. I think I need two lawyers. A DUI and for the stores negligence. This is a well known 24 hour store. What kind of lawyer(s) do I call?

A:  It seems that you will want to interview one (or more) experienced DUI defense attorney’s. Under the facts related in your question there are possible defenses to the pending DUI charges. Regarding the liability of the store, that is different question, it is highly unlikely that the store owners were aware of the on site drinking (since stores don’t allow on-premises consumption) or the Xanax thereby making the case difficult to prosecute.


Q:  I was arrested twice for DUI Drug, but neither time did the arresting officer taken my drivers license. And then i received my Suspension/revocation Order in the mail with only one day left to schedule my hearing. What should my next step be and will i get in trouble for still having my license?

A:  Schedule that hearing TOMORROW! Physical possession of your license is not the issue. If the DMV suspends, it doesn’t matter whether or not you have the physical license, it’s still suspended 


Q:  After having 3 beers in 4 hours, I decided to drive. It had been 2 hours from my last beer. However, I had been at work all day, and barely slept the night before. I ensured I felt sober before driving, but I must’ve been really tired, as during the drive, I dozed off and crashed on the side of the road. I didn’t hit any other cars, but my car was stuck. As I was trying to get my car out, a CHP cruiser pulled over next to me. They gave me a sobriety test and in my shock from the accident, I was having trouble understanding the directions. The officer was getting frustrated with me and made me use the breathalyzer and arrested me. I was taken to the hospital where they gave me a blood test. After, I was taken to the police station to be processed and held overnight. I currently live paycheck to paycheck and barely scrape by. Considering my circumstances, I’m unsure if it’s worth it to pursue a lawyer or just accept the public defender. I’m also unsure if I should try for a hearing at the DMV, as I’m unsure if I have a defense. I’m wondering if I have a case for a wet reckless. This is my first DUI offense and this is all new to me and I‘m just trying to get the best result possible.

A:  1. Fight the DMV and get a hearing within 10days or you’ll loose your license 

2. Get a free consultation with a few attorneys, to see how much it’ll cost you. 

3. If you cannot afford an attorney then default to the public defender. Remember the public defender won’t help you with your DMV hearing.  


Q: I got a dui in 1998 took the 3 month dui class want to get my license back I can’t find nothing saying I did 23 years ago
Can’t find paper saying I finished class 23 years ago can I go DMV and get my license ?

A: If the DMV doesn’t have proof of completion, no you can’t get your license reinstated. You can call your lawyer and see if they have proof of completion in your file, call the program and see if they have a copy of the completion, go to the courthouse and pull your file to see if a copy was filed with the court or, you can retake the program.


Q: What can I do with this 1st DUI in California.
I was driving South Bound on I-5 from Kern county towards LA county. A white charger was tailgating me and I was changing lanes to avoid a collision. He then pulled next to me and pulled what seemed to be a weapon as he waived. I quickly moved over and speed to avoid any confrontation and that’s when a CHP pulled me over. He mentioned he was 15 mins to end of shift and said he was going 85 when i passed him. I passed the PAS and when he asked for a breathalyzer I declined and he took me in. I requested for blood work and he declined and said he needed me to check my BAC via a breathalyzer. Long story short, he gave me a ticket for DUI and my citation only has DUI on it. This is my 1st offense and am I able to ask for records of when was the last time the device was service ? I did tell him of why I sped up.

​A: There are at least a few issues here that a good DUI attorney can use to help you. One problem for you is if the officer wrote this up as a test refusal – DMV will want a year hard suspension. You have right to request a blood test, so the right attorney will use that to help you. Contact an experienced DUI attorney ASAP. You have only 10 days from the date of arrest to request a DMV hearing and avoid an automatic suspension of your driver license.


Q: What options are out there for a DUI lawyer?
1st time DUI arrest in LA county. Looking for help and information regarding the process of finding the right person. Types of payment options? etc

A: You can search for DUI lawyers in your area (or beyond) here on AVVO. Many offer initial consultations to discuss rates and other matters at no charge.


Q: If I don’t complete my SB38 or other required court penalties will I go to jail?

​I was recently convicted of 2nd dui in CA. , supposed to do SB38, install interlock ignition device for 12 months, and AA classes, along with 28 days hard labor. I was approved by judge to relocate to Alabama. I have zero interest in ever driving or visiting CA again. Can I get an Alabama license? Or will my license be suspended for a certain amount of time? Would they issue a warrant from CA for not completing the classes?

​A:  Will I go to jail? If you consented to the terms of your sentence then any failure to comply with the terms to which you agreed, is a violation of probation. A violation of probation can result in a jail sentence up to the “maximum” which depends on your charge minus the days you have already served. So, short answer, yes, if you are arrested for a warrant (which can issue when you violate your probation) you are likely facing jail. If you are in AL and are arrested you can be held until CA comes to pick you up (extradited) or you are released. If you have relocated to Alabama, you should have your lawyer return to court and figure out a way that you can satisfy the court in CA while remaining in AL. It possible that your lawyer has already done this, they notified the court that you were moving to AL however your question suggests that the DUI school wasn’t part of the relocation conversation with the judge.
Can I get an AL license? Probably not, most states honor the suspensions imposed by other states, so it’s quite possible you can’t get a license until CA drops the suspension. The CA suspension will remain in place until it has been “cleared” it will not go away simply through the passage of time. You may be able to clear the CA suspension without attending the CA DUI program, installing the IID or other DMV based requirements, call Mandatory Actions at 1.916.657.6525 to determine what steps you need to take to clear the CA suspension and be on your way to an AL license.


Q: Is a refusal case with a dmv worth fighting?
I’ve been found not guilty no intoxication on a dui case I still have a upcoming refusal case at the DMV court, I’ve lost my license for one year but I don’t need to drive for a year, I’m worried about my driving record showing the refusal and having trouble finding a job in the future. How long does a refusal stay on driving record, is it worth pursuing the dmv case?

​A:  If you have the DMV hearing yet to come and your court case has been won (you write “not guilty”) why is your license suspended? Under these facts, your license shouldn’t be suspended. Assuming that there’s a mistake, and the DMV hearing is in the future, if you can win the hearing the license suspension (due to the refusal) will be lifted and you won’t have to do anything further to reinstate your license, including pay for SR-22 insurance. If you can afford a lawyer you should contact one and discuss your case, the pros and cons of fighting a DMV hearing and the likely outcomes. It seems like if you have won the criminal case you should want to get the DMV case kicked out if you can, it will remain on your driving record and will likely have consequences in the future.


Q: How can I get my license back????
At 18 years old I got a dui payed fine by going to jail 45 days… I almost finished my dui classes. needed a couple more classes but didn’t finished it.. now the dui classes that I attended is no longer there… I’m now 34.. do I still have to take those classes again to get my license…

​A: Yes, and probably more, call Mandatory Actions in Sacramento (1.916.657.6525) to get information on the steps you will need to take to get your license reinstated.