The fact that you have gone through your driving classes and successfully succeeded in getting a driving license does not mean that you are safe enough. Also, the fact that you have been driving for quite a long period does not mean that your driver’s license cannot be suspended. Different circumstances can make the state, particularly the Department of Motor Vehicles to take away your license. In such a situation, it requires the intervention of a professional attorney to help you reinstate your California driver's license. We at the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin will provide the legal services you need while in such a situation.
Understanding License Suspension in California
The California Department of Motor Vehicles has the right to suspend your driver’s license under particular circumstances. Such actions can be considered through court order or the action of the department. While your DMV license has been suspended, it means that you are not lawfully supposed to operate your motor vehicle.
Once the suspension is complete, you become eligible for driving once your license gets reinstated. There are a couple of considerations that you must make, which includes paying all fines and submitting a couple of documents.
Unless the DMV suspends your license through court action, it might be hard to determine whether it is suspended. In that case, you need to consider the following three ways to determine whether your license has been suspended.
- Check on the DMV website at a $ 2 fee
- Mailing a completed INF 1125 form at $ 5 fee
- Reaching out to the DMV offices in person and paying the $ 5 fee as required.
Please note that you are not required to drive while your license is in suspension. Otherwise, you will end up with a more significant fine or have the suspension period extended.
Difference between License Suspension and Revocation
There is a lot of confusion when it comes to driver’s license suspension and revocation. It is crucial to know the difference between the two so that you can understand how to fix a license suspension or revocation.
When it comes to suspension, your driving privileges are taken for a certain period and are reinstated after the period is over. In most cases, the perpetrator usually gets their licenses back after the suspension period or after paying the required fines. If found driving with a suspended license, the license might be revoked or end up facing harsher penalties.
On the other hand, the state of California might revoke a license for severe offenses like felonies or failing to appear in court. If you have your license revoked in California, it means that your driving privileges are entirely taken away from you. If you intend to reinstate your license, you would require to apply with the DMV, take an examination and pay the necessary fees all over again after a given time. The timeline ranges from one to five years.
Examples of driving acts that might get your license revoked by the DMV include:
- Speeding on dense traffic on a peak hour
- Trying to evade a traffic or law enforcement officer
- DUI combined with a recklessness which leads to an accident
- Flagrant disregard of the risks of ignoring traffic laws, weather, road conditions, pedestrians, signals and mechanical defects with your vehicle
- Reckless driving in a vehicle which you do not hold the license or training to drive
License Suspension due to Driving Under the Influence
If you are arrested for DUI, your license will be confiscated by law enforcement and have you issued with an Order of Suspension. The Order of Suspension might allow you to drive for the next thirty days and have the license suspended after the days are over.
This triggers an automatic review by the DMV, which includes an examination of the officer's sworn report and any document such as traffic accident report or arrest report. If the review shows no need for suspension, then your suspension will be set aside. If there is proof of suspension, then the suspension will remain as follows:
- Suspension for four months for a first DUI
- Suspension for a year for a second DUI or a subsequent DUI conviction within a ten year-range
Under California law, an under 21 driver’s license can be suspended for a year if found driving with alcohol in his or her vehicle. The only exception includes having the container full, unsealed and unopened, and if the under 21 had an accompaniment of a parent or any other approved person.
If one is caught driving with a BAC level of 0.01% or higher, or under the influence of alcohol or any other drug, the license might be suspended for a year. Finally, if you are found driving without a driver’s license, and you are eligible to get one, you might have delays in the acquisition process for a year.
License Suspension for a Commercial Driver
Commercial drivers are considered to be DUI if they have a BAC level of 0.04%, unlike other drivers who should meet a limit of 0.08%.
There are other DUI related offenses that can lead to the suspension of your license. These situations include:
- Failing to take a BAC test. This kind of offense will lead to an automatic suspension of the license
- Driving the commercial vehicle or any other vehicle when the license is suspended or revoked
- Causing an accident while DUI or fleeing from a DUI checkpoint.
Possibility of Lifetime Commercial License Suspension
Drivers who operate class A and B vehicles get severe punishment if they get themselves in a DUI offense. They might have their license suspended for life as part of the severe punishment. This is considered due to the level of training that these kinds of drivers take and the level of risk that they impose when their vehicles tend to be involved in an accident. In most cases, the possibility of a lifetime commercial license suspension, also known as the order of disqualification is considered if one is arrested with a second DUI offense. There are particular factors that determine whether one will get a lifetime suspension, such as:
- Felony DUI
- Leaving a scene of the accident after causing one
- Using the commercial vehicle to operate a felony such as carrying controlled drugs such as Marijuana
- Refusing to submit or complying to a chemical test
- A combination of any of the above-stated criminal offense
License Suspension for an Out of State Driver
California has one of the strictest laws against DUI, and the law applies equally to both the state and out of state drivers. However, there is a slight difference between the two drivers when it comes to the two types of drivers. These differences include:
- The California police should not confiscate your license when you are an out of state driver. The officer should issue a suspension order that notifies you of the suspension of your California driving privileges in the next thirty days. This should prompt the driver to file a DMV hearing within the ten days window that they offer.
- The California DMV will inform the DMV from your state about the arrest, where your home state will impose the DMV penalties from your state. This applies if your state is part of the Interstate Driver’s License Compact, which comprises 45 states. The only states that are not part of this Compact include Georgia, Michigan, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts.
- Your attorney can appear in court on your behalf if you are facing a misdemeanor DUI case. The attorney can also appear in court on your behalf, even with a felony charge depending on the previous charges.
Restricted Driving License in California
The idea of getting a restricted driving license works when your license has been suspended. In this case, the DMV will issue a restricted driving license under particular conditions. However, you need to wait for the thirty days suspension period and consider the following three things.
- Enroll in an alcohol-approved school
- File an SR-22 proof of insurance
- Pay the $ 125 as required by the DMV
As soon as you get the restricted driver’s license, you will be able to drive your vehicle but under various restrictions. Some of the restrictions that apply are:
- Drive to and from work
- Drive only for work-related purposes, which should be during the workday
- Drive to and from the alcohol-approved school that you are expected to attend
Please note, if you are stopped by a law enforcement officer while under the restricted license, you must fit one of the above-stated categories at any point. Also, you will resume your unrestricted license once you complete the alcohol-approved school.
Interlock Ignition Device( IID) as part of the Restricted License
As of January 1st, 2019, IID became available as part of California’s DUI conviction. Drivers can immediately apply for the IID-restricted license as long as they submit the application forms to the DMV. The department does not apply any mandatory waiting or suspension period when it comes to an IID installation. The IID installation period varies depending on the DUIs and is as follows:
- 6-month installation for the 1st DUI charges
- 1-year installation for the 2nd DUI charges
- 2-year installation for a 3rd DUI charge
- 3-year installation for a 4th or subsequent DUI charge
How to Prevent License Suspension
The California DMV should not suspend or revoke a driver’s license without providing an opportunity to defend himself or herself, although this happens on rare occasions. If one is granted such an opportunity, the presentation is done at the Driver Safety office that is closest to the driver’s home. The Drivers Safety Officer is an enforcement branch of the DMV which operates within the state of California.
If you receive a notification from the DMV showing the intention to suspend you, you should be inclined to act quickly and defend yourself. The DMV provides a short timeline for such consideration, and the time is usually ten to fourteen days to request a hearing with them. If the driver fails to respond within the given timeframe, then the hearing is forfeited, and the department goes ahead to suspend the license.
For a proper schedule of the hearing, the perpetrator should plan with a lot of tenacity and require a remarkable knowledge of the California codes, Government codes, Administrative procedures, and Evidence code. A few drivers probably know about this and would not defend themselves appropriately. That’s why it is recommended to seek a professional attorney to help you with your hearing.
How to Reinstate Your California Driver's License
There is no need to worry when you find your driver’s license suspended. You can get it back in a couple of ways, depending on the reason behind the suspension.
In most cases, if you have your driver’s license suspended, you would be required to pay the necessary fines to the Department of Motor Vehicle and the court as well. You must also show evidence of your financial responsibility to prove that you have your insurance with the department. The department might also require you to undertake some classes if you face DUI convictions or serve your prison sentence.
If your license was suspended due to a mental or physical condition, you should provide a driver’s medical evaluation stating that your condition no longer impairs your ability to drive your vehicle safely.
The fact that you have managed to reinstate your driver’s license does not mean that you have a guaranteed right to drive. You should follow the traffic rules as provided by the state to keep your license. Otherwise, you might risk another suspension with the inclusion of harsher fines.
Find a DUI Law Firm Near Me
It is quite frustrating when you have your driving privileges revoked by the California Department of Motor Vehicle. Even so, you can still contest for your driving privileges within the ten to fourteen days provided by the DMV. In that case, it is crucial to have a professional attorney representing you if you want to win your case. We at the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin are in the best position of offering the best legal services if you are facing a driver’s license suspension. If you are in Beverly Hills, CA or Los Angeles County, you can reach out to us at 310-273-9600 and talk to one of our attorneys.