Counsel in a DMV hearing has 2 very important weapons to beat the California Department of Motor Vehicles (CA DMV). These strategies cannot only be used to contest the license suspension in the DMV Case, but can also be used to defend against criminal charges in the Court Case as well.
These strategies revolve around 2 procedures:
- The statutory right to discovery or the right to collect evidence
- The administrative subpoena.
Samudrala Law will mail or fax a letter to the appropriate Driver Safety Office requesting discovery in compliance with statutory authority to discovery. Discovery will consist of:
- Officer’s Statement
- Results of the breath, blood, or urine tests
- Arrest report
- Accident report (if applicable)
- Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs)
- Officer’s narrative
- Breath checklist
- Hospital records
- Supplemental investigations
- Internal administrative review
Without the prosecuting attorney present to object leaving only the hearing officer who usually lacking any legal training to the task, Samudrala Law has a lot of room to discredit the arresting officer’s testimony at the DMV hearing. Samudrala Law will inquire about the Police Evidence obtained: Driving Symptoms, Physical Symptoms, Field Sobriety Tests, Incriminating Statements, and Chemical Tests and can use the same strategies used in beating Police Evidence in a Court Case: Strategies to Beat Driving Symptoms, Strategies to Beat Physical Symptoms, Strategies to Beat Incriminating Statements Strategies to Beat Field Sobriety Tests, and Strategies to Beat Chemical Tests.
The California Vehicle Code section 13557 and 13558 has specifically outlined 4 issues to be recognized at a DMV hearing, This guidance makes it easier for Samudrala Law to build an effective defense for the defendant’s DMV Case than the defendant’s Court Case which can cover a broader base of issues; consequently, the likelihood of a defendant retaining his/her license is dramatically increased.
Below are these 4 issues along with some important points be aware of:
- Did the officer have reasonable cause to believe the defendant was driving a vehicle in violation of Vehicle Code section 23152 and 23153? Some Police Evidence can suppressed if the officer did not have legal cause to stop, detain, and arrest. Sobriety checkpoints present particularly complex issues. A Court Case Verdict that the arrest was with reasonable cause is not binding in a DMV Case.
- Was the defendant lawfully arrested? Unlawful arrests most commonly occur in DUI/DWI case where the arresting officer did not actually see the defendant’s driving symptoms. If the arrest is deemed unlawful, the defendant’s license will not be suspended even if he/she refused to submit or failed to complete a chemical test.
- Was the defendant properly advised of the consequences for refusing to submit to or failing to complete a chemical test? If the arresting officer failed to advise the defendant that his/her driving privilege would be suspended or revoked if the defendant refused to submit to or fail to complete a chemical test, then the license cannot be suspended or revoked even if he/she had refused to submit to or failed to complete a chemical test. SAMUDRALA LAW will sometimes attempt to establish that the defendant confused the right not to incriminate oneself established by the Miranda Warning with the right to choose whether or not to even submit to a chemical test established by Implied Consent Laws. For DMV purposes, the courts have generally held that the confusion must be caused by the arresting officer to prevent a licenses suspension. NOTE: A defendant can be acquitted of drunk driving charges in his/her Court Case but can still have his or her driver’s license suspended for having refused the arresting officer’s request for a chemical test
- Was the defendant driving a vehicle with 0.08% blood-alcohol concentration? This piece of evidence can only be obtained if the defendant submitted to a chemical test. It can be thrown out as evidence if the defendant was unlawfully arrested not made aware of Implied Consent Laws which provide the defendant with the choice of submitting or refusing a chemical test.