Do You Lose Your License After Your First DUI in CA?

May 22, 2023

Getting arrested for a first DUI offense in CA does not automatically mean that you will lose your driver’s license. You will be given a chance to challenge the license suspension, depending on the specific circumstances of your case. After your arrest for a first DUI, you must do the following to avoid license suspension:

What Happens to My License After Getting Arrested for a First DUI in CA?

In most cases, the police officer will ask the suspect to surrender their license and give them a temporary driver’s license with an expiration date. You must request the DMV hearing within 10 days of your first DUI arrest. If you fail to challenge the license suspension and your permit expires, the DMV will suspend your driver’s license. This hearing is an administrative review of the circumstances of your arrest and driving privileges. It is not about determining whether you are guilty of DUI.

Only people who have been arrested with a .08% BAC or higher will face an administrative license suspension. This means that the DMV will not impose a suspension if you took a chemical test and your results show that your BAC was below .08% at the time of your arrest.

On the other hand, if your results come back with a BAC of .08% or higher, you must request a hearing and prepare to challenge the suspension. If you win the hearing, the DMV will not suspend your driver’s license. If you lose, however, the DMV may allow you to continue driving, even if your license is suspended, if you agree to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your vehicle.

It’s also crucial to note that any penalties the DMV imposes will be independent of penalties the court imposes, which usually include fines, a jail sentence, and other sanctions. This means that the court can impose penalties even if you win your DMV hearing. A conviction for a first DUI in CA will automatically lead to a six-month suspension. Once you’ve been convicted, the court will inform the DMV, which will impose the suspension.

If you get your first DUI charge reduced to any offense (such as reckless driving) other than DUI, the court will not suspend your license. In addition, if you decide to advance your case to trial and the outcome is a not guilty, hung jury, or a mistrial, you will get to keep your driver’s license.

Get Legal Advice From an Experienced Ventura DUI Defense Attorney Today

A DUI conviction in CA, even for a first DUI offense, carries serious punishments for convicted offenders. If you are facing a DUI charge and need assistance handling your case, don’t hesitate to turn to the Ventura DUI defense attorneys at Bamieh & De Smeth for guidance. Dial 805-643-5555 or complete our online form to set up a free case evaluation with our Ventura DUI defense attorney.