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Just because you completed driver training courses and passed the driver’s exam does not mean that having a license is a right. Driving is a privilege, and the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has the right to suspend or revoke your license under certain circumstances. The DMV may take this action on its own or through court orders. If your license has been suspended, you may be eligible to reinstate your driving privileges once your license suspension period ends; however, you must often pay fines and submit the required documentation before you can resume driving.
If you are facing license suspension or revocation, contact a San Diego defense attorney. Losing your California driver’s license could have adverse effects on your life. At Dod Law, we understand that many people do not know why the DMV suspended their license, so we compiled the top five reasons.
You Do Not Have Insurance
If you are in an accident and do not have car insurance, the DMV may suspend your license for up to one year. After the suspension, you can reinstate your license if you show proof of insurance to the DMV. You must maintain proof of insurance for at least three years after keeping your license. Remember, California requires all drivers to carry minimum protection through their auto insurance policies:
- Bodily injury liability coverage: $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident minimum
- Property damage liability: Minimum of $5,000
- Uninsured motorist bodily liability coverage: $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident minimum
- Uninsured motorist property damage coverage: Minimum of $3,500
While these are the minimum requirements, your insurance coverage needs may vary. You can contact your insurance provider to adopt a policy that will provide you with more value.
Driving Under the Influence in California
If police officers arrest you for driving under the influence, they will confiscate your license and issue you an Order of Suspension, which acts as a temporary license to drive for the next 30 days. At the end of the 30 days, the suspension or revocation may go into effect. The DMV will automatically review the arrest, including the arrest report, traffic accident report, and other documents. If the review shows there is no reason for suspension, an official will reinstate your license.
However, if the review does find enough evidence to keep the suspension or revocation, you may face up to four months for a first DUI conviction. For subsequent convictions within 10 years, you may face a suspension of up to one year.
Refusing a Chemical Test in California
Under California’s implied consent law, you must take a chemical test to detect the presence of drugs or alcohol if police officers arrest you for driving under the influence. If you refuse, you may face a license suspension.
Regardless of your age, you may lose your license for up to one year for refusing a blood, breath, or urine test. A second offense within 10 years may result in losing your license for up to two years. A third and subsequent offense within 10 years could result in losing your license for up to three years.
Too Many Points on California Driving Record
Receiving too many points on your driving record may result in the DMV suspending your license. You can incur points for speeding, running a red light, or not stopping at a stop sign. You may lose your driving privileges for six months if you accumulate:
- Four points in 12 months,
- Six points in 24 months, or
- Eight points in 36 months.
The length of time that points stay on your license will depend on the violation(s). For less severe violations, points may stay on your driving record for up to three years. For more serious violations, such as driving under the influence, they may stay on your record for up to 13 years.
Failing to Pay Child Support in California
Parents ordered to pay child support in California must pay the monthly amount on time. If a payment is late or unpaid in full within 30 days of the due date, the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) may submit the parent’s name to the DMV for license suspension.
Once the DCSS submits a name, the DMV sends a warning letter allowing the parent 150 days to pay the past-due child support. If the parent does not pay the amount or schedule a payment plan within this time frame, the DMV may suspend their license. Once they make payments, the suspension will end. However, you may lose your license after 45 days of nonpayment, even after license reinstatement.
Contact an Experienced California Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing license suspension in California, contact Attorney Dod of Dod Law. Having tried more than 6,500 criminal defense cases, he has the skill and experience necessary to handle several criminal offenses that may result in a license suspension, such as driving under the influence. To schedule a free consultation, call (619) 814-5110 or complete our online contact form.