Immediately after a DUI arrest, you should be considering two things:
- Do I have to schedule an APS hearing to protect my license?
- Where do I go, or who do I call, to schedule an APS hearing?
Do I Have To Schedule An Aps Hearing To Protect My License?
The answer here, should always be, “yes,” even if your citation only shows allegations of violating VC 23152(a) as your result could be .08% or greater, even if you were told otherwise. Although a DMV APS Hearing is only necessary where the BAC is at, or above, .08%, most individuals are never told what their BAC level was by a peace officer. It is also EXTREMELY difficult for anyone to predict what their BAC level is at any given time. Here, the old adage is true – it’s better to be safe, than sorry. An Administrative Per Se Hearing should ALWAYS be requested within the allowed 10 day window in order to ensure that your license is not suspended simply because you didn’t think you would be above the .08% limit.
Another common misconception is that waiting until your court hearing, you can simply ask the judge to let you keep your license. Unfortunately, this could be more harmful to you than beneficial. A DUI arrest leads to two different and completely separate cases that you must fight – a criminal action in Court, and a “civil” action with the DMV. In most situations, the outcome of one bears no weight in the outcome of the other. Depending on various factors, such as enhancements, prior offenses and whether a chemical test was refused, you could end up without a license and no ability to obtain one if you fail to request a DMV Hearing. If you are convicted of a DUI, your license WILL be suspended. There is nothing a judge can do to let you keep a fully unrestricted license.
For the short amount of time it takes to request one, it is always a good idea to request one. If your BAC levels ends up being below the limit, the DMV will simply dismiss the case and will take no action on your license – unless, of course, you are convicted of a DUI in court.
Where Do I Go, Or Who Do I Call, To Schedule An Aps Hearing?
Whatever you do, DO NOT CONTACT THE “REGULAR” DMV FIELD OFFICE. If you try to go to the regular DMV office where you get your license renewed, they will simply turn you away and tell you that you have to wait 30 days before you can do anything or that you can only request a hearing if you have proof your BAC was not a .08% or greater. This is incorrect, and from experience, many people have fallen prey to the deceit and have lost their license because of this false information. It is not your responsibility to prove you were under the legal limit at a DMV hearing, it is the DMV’s burden to prove the case initially.
You must contact the Driver Safety Office closest to the location where the arrest took place. For contact information for the nearest Driver Safety Office, in the menu above, click on “At DMV…” and “Driver Safety Offices”. The locations listed are only those where we handle cases. If you are outside of the general Southern California region, you may need to contact DMV directly to find the local driver safety office for you.
When contacting DMV to schedule an APS hearing, it is extremely important to document everything. This includes such information as: Who you speak with, date and time of call, what was said, and hearing date/time and who your Hearing Officer is. ALWAYS REQUEST AN IN-PERSON APS HEARING.
In addition, make sure to request the hearing, along with a copy of all the “discovery” evidence the DMV intends to use against you, as well as a “stay” of license suspension pending a decision of the DMV APS Hearing.