The DMV is an amazingly complex Administrative Agency.
Their Mandatory Actions Unit is responsible for evaluating the suitability and fitness of licensees to be able drive in California. Dealing with the DMV is far more involved than dealing with the judicial system or the District Attorney’s Office.
At an Administrative Hearing to determine whether a person will lose their license it is important that the attorney know how to make the right objections and make a good record to win on appeal of the hearing officer’s decision.
Your lawyer should also be able to use these hearings as a deposition to determine the strength of your court case or use it as a deposition for challenging your arresting officer when he is confronted in court.
There are several possible grounds for a DMV Administrative Per Se (APS) Hearing. They are as follows:
- Administrative Per Se Hearings Resulting from a DUI Arrest;
- Critical Need License Applications for Under 21 Suspended Driver;
- Under Age 21 Zero Tolerance Actions VC 23140 & VC 23136;
- Commercial Driver with a Blood Alcohol Level over 0.04% in a Commercial Vehicle;
- Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test; and
Medical Evaluation Hearings.
Lawyers need to understand the pre-hearing considerations regarding witnesses and the subpoena power for records and/or law enforcement officers. They also need to know how to deal with a State’s Expert if the DMV decides to bring them in on a client’s case
Typically the DMV uses several documents to try and find a suspension of a licensed driver. These include:
- The Officer’s Sworn Statement;
- The Officer’s Unsworn Arrest Report and/or Collision Report;
- The Breath Test Ticket or the Blood Test Results and the Driver’s Driving Record.
Challenging the Department’s evidence follows a different set of rules than those used at Court. Objections need to be made involving timeliness and trustworthiness of the Department’s documents. There are complicated rules for establishing the foundation of documents and the authentication of documents.
The DMV is not the place to learn how to practice Administrative Law. It’s no place for a rookie or a veteran that hasn’t kept abreast of the ever-changing law governing these hearings.
The DUI Law Firm of Jon Woolsey has conducted well over 1,000 of these Administrative Hearings and knows every possible means by which they can be won.
We pride ourselves on saving the client’s license to drive because we know that without it jobs, family and reputation are at stake. The disasters that can arise as a result of these license hearings are more far reaching that the criminal case in many instances.