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It’s natural to feel overwhelmed and anxious about your future after being arrested for driving under the influence. One thing many people overlook is the 10-day rule in California. It is essential to understand and remember this rule because failing to follow it can have severe consequences for your freedom and ability to drive after a DUI. A California DUI defense attorney can thoroughly explain the state’s 10-day rule and defend you in court against state prosecutors.
Understanding the 10-day Rule in California
The 10-day DUI rule in California is simple: You have 10 days from the arrest date––including holidays and weekends––to notify the local Driver Safety Office to request an administrative per se (APS) hearing and stay on the license suspension program. When you call to request a hearing, an employee will ask for the following:
- Your name
- Driver’s license number
- Arrest date
- Name of the law enforcement agency that arrested you
- Name and ID number of the officer who arrested you
- DUI test type and whether you refused it
- Whether you will have an attorney
If you do not do this, you will lose your license 30 days after the arrest date. Upon release from custody, law enforcement will provide you with several documents, including a document that provides information about the APS hearing and your temporary license.
What Is an APS Hearing?
Many people do not understand that two separate entities are ready to act against you following a DUI arrest: the criminal court and the local driver safety office. You might be familiar with criminal court proceedings. The prosecution presents their case to convict while the defense argues why there is insufficient evidence to prove your guilt. Upon a conviction, you stand to lose your full driver’s license privileges.
However, there is another way you may lose your license after a DUI arrest, and that is through the administrative per se hearing. A hearing allows drivers facing DUI charges to fight their license suspension, but this is more complicated than a standard criminal court case. Unlike criminal court, where you are innocent until proven guilty, APS laws are written in a way to assume that the defendant is guilty. It is up to you to prove your innocence.
Should I Hire an Attorney for an APS Hearing?
Proving innocence in an APS court will be challenging because you need knowledge of DMV procedures, vehicle codes, evidence codes, California Code of Civil Procedure, and the Administrative Procedures Act. Understanding all of these will be difficult, and you might not have the necessary legal experience to interpret the language. Hiring a San Diego DUI defense attorney is your best chance of keeping your driving privileges after a DUI arrest.
Additionally, an attorney can contact the local driver safety office if you hire them within the 10-day window. When you request the hearing within the time frame, the DMV will issue you a new temporary license, and you will maintain full driving privileges pending the hearing’s outcome.
In addition to maintaining driving privileges, an APS hearing will provide your attorney early access to discovery, including arrest reports, blood alcohol results, and other relevant information. They can then subpoena additional items, such as breathalyzer calibration and maintenance records, blood lab packets, video or audio recordings, and 911 calls before the court case. Without an APS hearing, a defense attorney would have to wait until after the court date to obtain and review these documents.
Possible penalties for a conviction from the APS hearing may range from a license suspension of four months to three years, depending on the incident and any prior convictions. Remember, this suspension is separate from any additional penalties you may be subject to from criminal court.
Speak to an Experienced DUI Defense Attorney Today
The aftermath of a DUI arrest in California is complex. Do not let a DUI turn your life upside down, contact Dod Law. Attorney Dod is a skilled criminal defense attorney who has worked on more than 6,500 criminal defense cases and has a 10.0 Superb Avvo rating. When you partner with him, you can expect Attorney Dod to provide aggressive legal defense in both APS and court hearings. Call (619) 814-5110 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.