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Sonoma County DUI Defense Lawyer

Most people know that you can lose your driver’s license if you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) in California. However, many people do not realize that there might be a way to get the suspension of your driver’s license rescinded, but doing so generally requires the help of a qualified attorney.

You Have the Right to a Court Hearing Regarding Your Suspension

If you refuse blood-alcohol content (BAC) testing following a DUI arrest, the state of California imposes an automatic suspension of your driver’s license. For most people, this suspension lasts for one year, presuming that it is your first offense. The law in California, however, gives you the right to a court hearing to challenge the suspension. At this hearing, your lawyer can question police officers and present arguments as to why your license should not have been suspended.


Reinstating Your License After a DUI

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California license reinstatement lawyerFew penalties associated with driving under the influence (DUI) arrests hit people as hard as driver’s license suspensions because the loss of driving abilities often dramatically changes how people operate on a daily basis. Anybody who is dealing with a DUI and needs help seeking driver’s license reinstatement in California will want to be sure that they retain legal counsel for help satisfying all of the many demands placed on people seeking restoration of their driving privileges.

Those who are convicted of DUI offenses in California can be subject to a wide range of possible suspension periods, and a person is not automatically reinstated as a lawful driver once the suspension ends. There is instead a full reinstatement process a person must complete to be considered a lawful driver again.

How Reinstatement Works in California

Seeking reinstatement is not the same as challenging your suspension, which you can legally do after your DUI arrest when a police officer gives you a notice of suspension. You will have 10 days to request a California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) hearing that is overseen by a DMV employee. This type of hearing only requires the DMV to prove a person was arrested for violating state DUI laws by a preponderance of the evidence, which is a much lower standard than beyond a reasonable doubt.


Driving on a Suspended License in California

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Sonoma License Suspension AttorneyIn California, a number of offenses are punishable by driver's license suspension. Conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) results in a six-month suspension while a second offense is punishable by a two-year suspension. Driver's license suspension is not always due to drunk driving, however. Getting into an accident without auto insurance, having too many points on your driver's license, and even failing to pay child support can lead to a license suspension.

Penalties for Driving When Your Driver's License is Suspended

Once a person's license is suspended, driving any vehicle is prohibited. Driving with a suspended license is a criminal offense. The penalties for driving with a suspended license in California depend on the reason for the suspension and the number of prior offenses. A first offense is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. A second offense is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. However, the penalties are even more severe if someone with a suspended license gets into an accident in which another person is injured.

If you are facing charges for driving with a suspended license, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can help you understand the charges against you and the possible defenses that may be available.

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