About Law Offices of Areeg Akel
Frequently Asked Questions About DUI in California
Q. When I was arrested the police officer took my license,
can I get it back?
A. If the client wins at the Administrative Per Se (A.P.S.)
his/ her license will be returned to them. However, if one
loses the hearing, he or she will be unable to get their license
until the end of their suspension or revocation period. Many
clients can qualify for a restricted driver's license after
a 30 day suspension, a process we are eager to assist our
Q. How long should I expect for my license to be suspended?
A. If the defendant is over 21 years old and took the blood,
breath, or urine test which showed a BAC of .08% or higher,
the defendant can expect: A four months suspension for a first
offense. Defendant's second offense within 10 years of the
previous DUI will face a ONE year suspension. Drivers with
a BAC of .01 who are under 21 years old face an automatic
suspension of up to but not limited to one year.
Q. How do I get a restricted license?
A. While there is often a mandatory suspension period before
one can qualify for a restricted license, defendants must
request a hearing within 10 days of their arrest. If a defendant
loses their case at the hearing, they can request a restricted
license to use for travel to and from work after the end of
their mandatory suspension period (often 30 days).
Q. What if I refused to take the chemical test?
A. California drivers are required by law to take a chemical
test to determine their BAC. Refusing to take a chemical test
can cause mandatory jail time for the defendant. Refusing
to take a chemical test will result in a one year license
suspension for first time offenders. If it is the defendants
second offence a license revocation for a period of two years
is required. Defendants facing a third offense in a period
of ten years can be given a three year license revocation.
Q. What is an administrative per se hearing?
A. When the DMV takes action against a person's driving privilege,
that person often has a right to hearing before the DMV to
contest the action. This hearing must be requested within
10 days of the arrest and hearings can be conducted both in
person and on the telephone. At the hearing the driver is
given the opportunity to review and challenge all evidence
presented against him/her in an attempt to persuade the department
to change the action.
Q. How do I schedule a hearing?
A. The assistance of an experienced attorney is often crucial
in DMV cases, and Akel & Associates can schedule a hearing
for our clients and appear on their behalf. The minimal time
to request a meeting makes it imperative for drivers to contact
us immediately so our experienced team can schedule a hearing
within the 10 day window.
Q. What if I need an interpreter?
A. If you or a witness requires a sign or language interpreter,
immediately contact us so that we can notify the Driver Safety
Office to request that an interpreter be provided for the
Q. What if I win my criminal court case after my driving
privilege was suspended? Can I get my license back?
A. If it is determined by the Department of Motor Vehicles
that the court decision is a sustained acquittal, a driving
suspension or revocation will be reversed.
Q. What if my DUI charge was reduced to a lesser charge or
dismissed? Do I get my license back?
A. In these circumstances, the reduction of a DUI charge or
the decision not to criminally prosecute a DUI does not ensure
the return of one's driving privileges. While one may get
another chance to appear before the DMV, there is no guarantee
of regaining driving privileges.
Q. What if my license was suspended, but the criminal court
judge said I can get a restricted license?
A. Noncommercial drivers can obtain a restricted drivers license
if they demonstrate proof of enrollment in a DUI treatment
program, pay about $125 reissue fee after a mandatory 30 day
suspension, and file proof of financial responsibility. If
facing a second offense within 10 years, one must submit proof
of enrollment in a DUI treatment program, proof of financial
responsibility, and a $125 reissue fee one year after the
suspension date. Drivers facing a third offense are unable
to apply for any restricted license.