One of the most common penalties for a DUI in Santa Barbara is a driver’s license suspension. In California, you can receive two forms of license suspension: a DMV administrative suspension or a court-ordered suspension. Administrative license suspensions are usually administered by the DMV as an additional administrative sanction above and beyond any court-ordered penalties or suspensions. If you are convicted of driving under influence of alcohol or drugs in any California Superior Court, you will likely suffer a court-ordered suspension, which would be in addition to any DMV administrative action.
If you are facing DUI charges, your best bet is to consult with a Santa Barbara DUI lawyer who can challenge your license suspension. Depending on the circumstances of your case, there are defense strategies that lawyers may be able use to get your charges reduced and/or mitigate any license suspension period.
Administrative License Suspensions in California
California administers DUI penalties through two different systems: The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the court. Whenever someone is arrested for a DUI, the DMV
may issue its own license suspension, commonly referred to as administrative suspension or an “admin per se” (APS) if you lose your DMV APS Hearing. In that case, an APS suspension would be issued regardless of the verdict in your criminal case, so it is important to fight your APS hearing as well as your criminal court case or you may automatically lose your driving privilege.
As soon as you are arrested for a DUI charge—including refusing a blood or breath test—the police officer will most likely take your driver’s license away on the spot and issue a temporary license, valid for 30 days. The arresting officer will notify the DMV and you only have 10 actual days from the date of your DUI arrest or citation to request a DMV hearing or the DMV will automatically suspend your license. There is generally no grace period, so you will want to act immediately to protect your driving privileges. The best way to ensure that your rights are protected is to contact an experienced DUI driver’s license suspension lawyer immediately after your arrest.
If you are convicted of a DUI charge in court, one of the penalties may be a court-ordered license suspension.
People convicted of DUI for the first time may have their license suspended for six months. However, if you were served an APS, the period of that suspension may be subtracted from your court-ordered suspension. In addition, a first offense is usually accompanied by a jail sentence ranging from two days to six months. While these are often the typical penalties associated with a first offense DUI, the unique circumstances surrounding your case may result in markedly different results.
Repeat DUI charges carry much tougher penalties than a first-time offense. The more prior DUIs you have been charged with, the longer your license suspension period may be. Common penalties for repeat DUI offenses may include:
Up to a one-year license suspension for a second offense within 10 years
Up to a three-year license suspension for a third offense within 10 years
Up to a five-year license suspension and potential felony charges for a fourth offense within 10 years
There are certain factors that may influence the length of your license suspension. Circumstantial factors to be aware of include:
If you are on probation for a previous DUI offense when arrested for a new offense, you may automatically suffer an extra year of suspension.
DUIs that are felony charges, involve death, or resulted in serious injuries may potentially result in permanent license suspension.
If you are under 21 when arrested for a DUI, you may automatically be issued at least one year of license suspension.
If you refused to take a chemical test when pulled over for a DUI, you may be issued a longer license suspension with no possibility of obtaining a restricted license.
There are many strong defense arguments lawyers can use to fight DUI charges. Some common DUI defense arguments may include:
Police officer bias and error was present in your arrest
You were not driving the vehicle at the time you were sufficiently intoxicated
Too much time passed between your arrest and your BAC test, which could result in an inaccurate display of your intoxication levels.
The sooner you consult with a DUI defense lawyer, the better your chances of challenging these charges successfully. Having a suspended license can impact many areas of your life, including your ability to become and stay employed. Using the details of your case, your DUI defense attorney may determine the most viable defense.
There is significant room for error in DUI arrests, meaning that your attorney may have several avenues for providing a solid defense in your case. If you face DUI charges, contact a quality DUI suspended license lawyer in Santa Barbara.
At the Aron Law Firm, our attorneys have a proven track record of minimizing the penalties and license suspension period in DUI cases. To schedule an appointment with one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers, call today at (805) 500-7745 or fill out our online contact form.