DMV Hearings, Medical Evaluations and DUI License Suspension

DMV Hearings

I have personally handled hundreds of DMV drivers license suspension hearings for my clients.

If you have received a DMV “Re-Examination Notice of Suspension/Revocation” of your drivers license for either “Medical Evaluation” or for “Negligent Operator,” you may be facing the possible permanent loss of your privilege to drive (drivers license revocation).

You may have simply received the DMV notice by mail from the DMV ordering you to surrender your drivers license (pending a hearing and final decision by the DMV for the reasons for the suspension). The evidence to the DMV for the Notice of Suspension may have been submitted by your doctor or even a family member.

Another way to receive the DMV Notice of “Re-Examination,” either for Medical Evaluation or Negligent Operator, is that a police officer may make an immediate determination that you are unsafe to drive and take your license on the spot (the contact is usually after a traffic accident or stop for a ticket), and then issue you a notice of “Priority Re-Examination” with the immediate suspension of your drivers license.

In either case, the DMV will NOT issue you a “temporary” or “restricted” drivers license to you. In order to regain your drivers license, your lawyer must to prove to the DMV that you can drive safely.

Please note that in Medical Evaluation cases, the burden of proof is totally on YOU to prove to the DMV by legally competent evidence that you do not have any condition that would prevent you from driving safely.

The DMV now takes a much more aggressive approach to these “Re-Examination cases.” A few of the more common medical conditions that the DMV considers grounds for Medical Evaluation suspensions include (but are certainly not limited to) dementia, diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease, epilepsy, or any other medical or mental condition that the DMV considers an impediment to your ability to drive safely.

Any physical or mental condition – even an allegation that your are a “Negligent Operator” – that may result in your losing consciousness or your awareness of your surroundings is a possible ground for the temporary suspension or even a permanent revocation of your drivers license.

The DMV prefers to see the driver at a hearing in person to test and evaluate that person’s ability to drive safely. Often at these DMV hearings, challenging questions may be asked of the person, or mental dexterity tests are given. There can be some unexpected curveballs thrown at the driver at the DMV hearing, and proper preparation and legal representation are essential for a fair hearing and the best chance for a successful outcome.

It is critical that you understand that the DMV Hearing Officer has the power to deny re-issuance of your drivers license if there is any question in his or her mind as to your ability to drive safely. In short, these Medical Evaluation suspensions are by no means a do-it-yourself matter. You will need professional legal representation to ensure your best chance of succeeding at your DMV hearing.

I have represented hundreds of clients in these cases in these DMV Medical Evaluation “Re-Examination” cases for over twenty years. I understand the issues and the type of objective proof that the DMV requires from you to satisfy your burden of proof. My only goal is to get your drivers license back.

If you are arrested for DUI, your drivers license is automatically suspended for at least four months (with a one month “stay”). Immediate action is required to save your drivers license.

A hearing at the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is necessary to get your drivers license back. Please note that this hearing is completely separate from the criminal court proceedings in your DUI case. Driving on a suspended license is a criminal offense with minimum jail sentences, so obviously every effort should be made to regain your driving privilege.

Important note: It is imperative that you have your attorney request a DMV in San Francisco hearing within ten (10) calendar days, or else you will have waived your only chance to get your drivers license back. A new temporary drivers license will be issued pending the result of your DMV hearing.

At your DMV license suspension hearing, the Hearing Officer will hear evidence presented by your criminal defense attorney, and he or she will then decide whether your drivers license suspension that took place at the time of your arrest will be sustained or set aside.

There are three separate areas that the DMV Hearing Officer will examine at a suspension hearing in your DUI case:

  1. Was there probable cause for the initial stop?
  2. Were you lawfully arrested? and
  3. Were you driving with .08% or more of blood alcohol?

The good news is, if you prevail in even one of the above questions at your hearing, then your drivers license will be returned and the original suspension permanantly set aside. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by arranging for a DMV hearing and, with the help of competent legal counsel, offer a defense on any or all of these questions.

In addition to the many DMV hearings that I have handled, I have prepared numerous Writs of Mandamus to attack unfair DMV decisions in which the client’s drivers license suspension was wrongfully sustained by the DMV. Such a Writ (which is an application to the Superior Court to have an adverse DMV decision in your case reversed) is your only recourse to having the suspension sustained. I have assisted other lawyers in this complicated and arcane area of the law.

Preparing and offering a defense in a hearing at DMV in San Francisco is a complex and legally sophisticated matter, and you will need a good criminal defense lawyer to accomplish this. I will bring my many years of experience in defending clients at the DMV to bear on your case.

In addition to DUI cases, I have personally handled many DMV hearings in these specific areas of Drivers License suspension:

  1. Medical reasons (e.g.: epilepsy, dementia, alleged loss of skills, etc.
  2. Failure to pay child support,
  3. Collision without insurance,
  4. Too many tickets (points), and
  5. Failure to appear in court / failure to pay fine

If you’re faced with a Drivers License suspension for any reason, contact me immediately so that we may discuss the specific facts of your case as the relate to how to regain your Drivers License.  To read more about me and what makes me different than other criminal defense attorneys, click here.