Legal Question in DUI Law in California

I ran over something on the highway and severely hurt the suspension on my car. While standing and waiting for AAA to come on the line, a cop car pulled up. They arrested my on suspicion of a dui. I now have a pink temporary license as they took the real one. I have been reading that I have to arrange a separate hearing from the DMV within the first 10 days to get my license back. I don't understand this since my hearing is on 12/10. In any case, how do I go about getting this DMV hearing since I hear my license might be totally lost without doing so?

Asked on 11/18/09, 5:14 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Steven Mandell Law Offices of Steven R. Mandell

You have to ask for a hearing at the Office of Driver Safety nearest where you were arrested within 10 days of the arrest or you lose your right to a DMV hearing. It has nothing to do with your court date of 12/10. There are 2 separate and different areas of law and procedure involved with a DUI and a DMV proceeding, so it is often best to consult with a criminal lawyer experienced in DUI/DMV matters. If you'd like to talk to me, please don't hesitate to contract me. Good luck. Steve Mandell [email protected]

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Answered on 11/23/09, 5:20 pm
Dave Jake Schwartz

The DMV hearing is where one can challenge the DMV's intention to suspend driving privileges as a result of a DUI allegation, but usually one can only preserve the right to such a hearing by taking steps within ten days from date of arrest (with some exceptions) to ask for the hearing by telephoning the number in the upper right corner of the pink temporary license (or by asking a DUI defense attorney to do so).

Lawyers almost always ask for the DMV hearing because we don't know yet (until we see the police report) precisely what the case is about and whether there are viable defenses, so we act now to preserve rights for later in case we decide to fight the case. Once a hearing is requested, typically a date for the hearing will be assigned later, usually at least 30-60 days from now. A new temporary license is typically sent to the arrestee (if validly licensed apart from the DUI arrest) before the 30-day pink temporary license expires.

By contrast, the first criminal court date (usually indicated at the bottom of the citation or in bail documents handed to the arrestee if bailed out of jail) is usually already set and deals with criminal court proceedings such as plea bargaining, trial, not guilty findings or convictions, jail, probation, etc.

These are completely different proceedings that rarely affect each other (although a good case may include the same winning arguments in each proceeding, and a not guilty finding by a jury may automatically reverse a negative finding at DMV). But both DMV and court proceedings should be addressed early in order to understand and fight or navigate a DUI properly and avoid missed opportunities or missed obligations, and in order to suffer the least consequences and bureaucratic complications.

Bottom line: it most cases it is best to preserve rights and options by asking for a DMV hearing within the 10 days from arrest. To be sure in your individual case, you should definitely discuss your particular situation and options with a DUI defense attorney immediately.

If you live in Sonoma County and you wish to hire a lawyer, or browse additional information of this nature, please visit my website at, particularly my Anatomy of a DUI flowchart and the Top Ten Questions discussions.

Good luck,


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Answered on 11/24/09, 6:26 am
Robert Mccoy Law Office Of Robert McCoy

Your pink "temporary license" states on it how to request a hearing. Just read it.

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Answered on 11/24/09, 4:55 pm

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