​Los Angeles Driver’s License Hearings

Did you know you have the right to challenge the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license? Just as in criminal court, you have protectable legal rights at administrative DMV hearings, but it is vital to act quickly. Drivers only have 10 days to request a hearing to challenge the suspension or revocation of their licenses. 

Your first step is always to contact our Los Angeles driver’s license reinstatement lawyers at Chudnovsky Law. Our experienced defense attorneys represent drivers at all types of Los Angeles driver’s license hearings. We can help protect your legal rights and fight for your driving privileges.

Our attorneys have handled more than 8,500 criminal cases in L.A. courts, surrounding criminal courts, and DMV hearings. We know how to defend against the loss of your license, but you want us on the case right away.

The sooner you have an experienced defense attorney fighting on your side, the better options you will have for resolving issues with the DMV. Learn more about California driver’s license suspensions, when the state can revoke a license, and how our lawyers can help protect your legal rights.

Reasons California Can Suspend Your Driver’s License

There are many reasons why your driver’s license can get suspended under California law.

Some of the most common reasons are:

  • Refusing to provide a blood, breath, or urine sample when requested by an officer who suspects DUI
  • A drunk driving conviction
  • Driving under the influence of drugs (including marijuana or prescription medications)
  • Being convicted of driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs, other substances, or any combination of these chemicals
  • An underage drinking conviction (this only requires a .05 BAC)
  • Not having insurance after causing an accident
  • Failure to report an accident causing significant property damage, injuries, or death
  • Failure to appear in court for a traffic citation
  • Failure to pay traffic fines
  • Accruing too many points on your driving record
  • An overall lack of safe driving skills

In addition to these driving offenses, your license can get suspended for failure to pay child support. The first late payment will not result in the suspension of your driving privileges. You can see your license suspended if you repeatedly fail to pay and ignore orders from the family court or your local child support agency. You can reinstate your license either by paying the total amount of arrears or by entering into a repayment agreement with the child support agency that handles your case.

Reasons to Revoke a California Driver’s License

Revocation is more serious than a suspension, and it is more difficult for a driver to get their license back after a revocation.

Revocation occurs in more serious cases involving:

  • Fraud or forgery involving a driver’s license
  • Road rage
  • Drug or alcohol addiction
  • A physical or mental condition that interferes with the driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely
  • Vehicular felonies (such as aggravated assault or manslaughter)
  • Repeat traffic violations, DUIs, suspensions, or other infractions
  • An overall lack of safe driving skills

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Chudnovsky Law

How To Check Your License Status

It is essential to know the status of your driver’s license before getting behind the wheel. Driving on a suspended license is a crime in California, and a conviction can result in up to six months in jail. A conviction can also extend the length of the current suspension.

You can check your driver’s license status online through the DMV website or in person at a DMV office. You can also mail a request form to the DMV headquarters. There is a small fee for processing this request, but it is well worth the cost to avoid another conviction or an extended license suspension.

If you know your license was suspended, confirming that the DMV shows the suspension lifted before you hit the road is essential. The state does not automatically reinstate driver’s licenses at the end of the suspension period.

You must prove you deserve the court to lift the suspension. Even then, if the DMV has not yet processed your case, your license can still show as suspended if an officer pulls you over. Check your license status after police pull you over, ticket you, summon you to traffic court, or arrest you. Any of these situations can result in a suspended driver’s license.

Reinstating Your Driver’s License After a Suspension

To reinstate your driver’s license, you must:

  • Pay the fee to reinstate or reissue your license (this usually costs about $100 to $1,500
  • Submit proof of financial responsibility (either liability insurance or an SR-22 bond)
  • Submit evidence that you have taken any required courses (DUI courses, driver’s education, defensive driving, anger management, etc.)
  • Submit proof that any related criminal charges are resolved

If your driver’s license got suspended due to a medical condition or mental health diagnosis, you must also provide documentation from your healthcare providers to prove that you can safely operate a motor vehicle. The government can impose other requirements depending on the nature of your suspension. Our driver’s license lawyers can help you gather all documentation and work with the DMV to resolve any issues.

Reinstating Your Driver’s License After Revocation

Unlike a suspension, you cannot simply reinstate your license after revocation. State law requires the driver to apply for a brand new license after revocation. As a result, the driver must retake their driving test, pay license fees, and meet all the other requirements necessary for a new driver’s license.

You might also have additional requirements ordered by the court or mandated by the DMV. For example, if your license was revoked due to a vehicular felony, you might also have a criminal case. The DMV will check to see if you have met your criminal court obligations (such as paying restitution or participating in court-ordered counseling) before allowing you to obtain a new license.

You Have the Right to Challenge a License Suspension or Revocation

Drivers have the right to challenge an improper suspension or revocation of their license.

You might need to challenge an administrative error, such as:

  • The DMV record belongs to someone else entirely
  • Errors in dates, charges, and other essential information
  • The DMV record does not match the criminal court record (for example, the DMV shows a conviction even though your criminal case is still pending)

Some challenges occur based on the DMV’s accusations.

Here are some common examples of these substantive challenges:

  • Your suspension resulted from refusing an alcohol test even though you were not made aware that you faced a license suspension for refusing
  • The officer claims you refused an alcohol test even though you did not
  • An officer did not lawfully stop you
  • Your blood alcohol level was below .08
  • The suspension was due to an out-of-state conviction or DMV action that does not qualify under California law.

An experienced driver’s license hearing lawyer will know the best strategy for fighting an improper suspension or revocation. You have the right to be represented by a lawyer when fighting the DMV, and it is vital to have an advocate on your side throughout the process.


FAQs About Los Angeles Driver’s License Hearings

How and when must I request a hearing?

You can request a DMV hearing through a Driver Safety Office. You only have ten days to request this hearing after receiving notice that your license is suspended or revoked, so it is essential to act quickly.

Our lawyers can review your case to determine the best strategy for fighting the DMV in your particular situation. When hiring a lawyer, you can also rest assured that they will request your hearing on time and meet all procedural requirements (for example, putting things in writing and requesting discovery).

Contact our office as soon as you learn that the DMV intends to suspend or revoke your driver’s license.

What happens at a hearing?

The DMV is represented by a hearing officer acting as both the prosecutor and the judge. This arrangement can make it challenging to get a fair chance at overturning an unfair suspension or revocation. The hearing officer collects the evidence and builds the case against you, but they also determine whether the case against you is fair. It is complicated to fight back in this situation unless you have a skilled DMV defense lawyer on your side.

At your hearing, you will have the opportunity to challenge the DMV’s evidence against you. You can call witnesses and present other evidence in your defense. Once you have presented your evidence, the hearing officer will consider both sides and decide whether your license can be suspended or revoked lawfully. The law requires the hearing officer to prepare a decision in writing.

This decision may come as:

  • An order to set aside the suspension or revocation (meaning it never should have been entered in the first place and will no longer appear on your driving record)
  • An order to end the action (meaning that your suspension was valid, but you have now proven you are eligible to have your license reinstated).
  • An order upholding the original suspension or revocation

How do I know what evidence the state will use against me?

The DMV must provide you with the evidence it intends to use against you no later than ten days before your hearing. This requirement gives you time to review the evidence and prepare your defense. However, it is vital to hire an attorney before receiving this evidence.

Your DMV defense lawyer will need time to review the evidence before the hearing. Your attorney might want to call witnesses, review documents, or consider other defense strategies. It might be too late to develop an effective defense strategy if you wait until you receive the evidence.

The best way to protect your legal rights is to hire a defense attorney as soon as you learn that the DMV intends to take action against you. Hiring an attorney as quickly as possible ensures that you will not miss deadlines, that you have a comprehensive defense strategy, and that your lawyer has time to find all the evidence they need to present an effective defense at the DMV hearing.

Can I represent myself at the DMV hearing?

Your legal rights may suffer without a lawyer’s advice. Losing a DMV hearing can cause all sorts of problems in your life. An upheld suspension or revocation can leave you without the legal right to drive for months or even years.

A sustained suspension can be used against you in future DMV actions and subject you to added penalties for repeat offenses (even if the first case had legal errors). Both suspensions and revocations lead to higher insurance rates when you eventually get your license back.

Some drivers considered high risk must post a bond to get their driving privileges back. This bond is known as an SR-22, and it can cost you a lot of money.

Driving is an integral part of life in California. The loss of driving privileges can prevent you from seeing family and friends, participating in hobbies, or simply getting to work to support your family. Not being allowed to drive impacts every area of your life. And if authorities unfairly suspended or revoked your license, it can take months or years to get it back. You can face difficulties getting insurance and paying fines long after your driving privileges return.

With an experienced Los Angeles driver’s license hearing lawyer on your side, you can be sure that your rights are protected throughout the DMV process and reduce the risk of an improper suspension or revocation that can affect your life for years to come.

Experienced, Aggressive Defense Lawyers for Los Angeles Driver’s License Hearings

You have the legal right to challenge the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, and you don’t have to fight the DMV on your own. Let the experienced defense attorneys at Chudnovsky Law handle your Los Angeles driver’s license hearing. Reach out to a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer.

We fight hard to protect our clients’ rights in the criminal court and at the DMV. Contact us today at (213) 212-5002 for your free consultation. Don’t wait to get an attorney fighting on your side. 


Law Firm Review & Testimonial

Law Firm Review & Testimonial

Was this just a consultation or did you hire us?