What Happens With Your License When You Get a DUI in CA?March 15, 2023
One of the most pressing concerns of drivers facing a DUI conviction in CA is the possibility of having their license suspended. Depending on the specific circumstances of your situation, a DUI conviction does not automatically trigger a license suspension. You also have options to avoid a license suspension.
What is a DMV License Suspension?
Most drivers don’t lose their licenses right after getting arrested for a DUI. The California DMV lets you request a hearing within 10 days of your DUI arrest, which will effectively place a temporary stay on your license suspension. But, if you fail to request a DMV hearing within the 10-day time limit, the DMV will automatically suspend your driver’s license.
Also, only drivers who have been arrested for DUI and submitted to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test and received a .08 or higher result will face a license suspension. This means that if your BAC test result eventually shows a .08 or lower BAC, the DMV cannot suspend your driver’s license.
On the other hand, if your BAC result is .08 or higher, you must request a hearing and prepare to defend your case. If you fail to request a hearing, the DMV will suspend your license, even if you’re found not guilty later on during the criminal proceedings. In any case, it’s best to discuss your case with a Santa Barbara DUI defense lawyer to figure out the best legal strategy for your specific situation.
The DMV will not suspend your license if you win the hearing. Otherwise, you face a four-month license suspension. Fortunately, the DMV typically allows offenders to continue driving, even if their licenses are suspended, if they install an ignition interlock device (IID) in the vehicles.
What is a License Suspension After a DUI Conviction?
If you get a DUI conviction, the court will automatically suspend your license for:
6 up to 9 months (plus the length of the DMV suspension) for a first DUI offense
Up to 2 years for a second DUI offense
Up to 3 years for a third DUI offense
Up to 4 years for a fourth DUI offense
The length of suspension is on top of the DMV suspension. Also, these circumstances may lead to a longer suspension:
Refusing a BAC or other chemical test can add up to three years to the suspension time
Being on probation for a DUI when you got arrested for the new DUI offense can add one year to the suspension time
You injured or killed another person during the DUI incident
It’s also vital to note that a fourth or greater DUI offense may result in the permanent revocation of your driver’s license.
Consult With a Santa Barbara DUI Defense Lawyer Now
Facing a DUI conviction in CA? Whether you are facing a first-time DUI charge or a subsequent one, reach out to the Santa Barbara DUI defense lawyer at Bamieh & De Smeth right away to learn more about the potential penalties and explore your legal options. Send us a message online or call our office at 805-643-5555 to arrange your free case review with our Santa Barbara DUI Defense lawyer.