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What to Know About Driver's License Suspension Periods in CA

What to Know About Driver's License Suspension Periods in CA

Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs usually leads to suspension or revocation of your driver’s license in California. Finding yourself unable to operate your motor vehicle to go to work, pick your loved ones up, go to a social event, get groceries, or any other activity you would normally drive to can be very frustrating.

Understanding what the suspension penalties are depending on the DUI offense helps you get clearer expectations if you do not contest the charges in time. You should contact a DUI defense lawyer as soon as you are arrested for DUI to increase your chances of securing a positive outcome and keep your driver’s license or minimize the duration of the suspension.

DUI-Related Reasons Your License Can Get Suspended

If you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), your license is typically suspended for six months if this is your first conviction. In certain circumstances, you may request a restricted license instead. Penalties increase with each additional conviction.

A conviction for underage drinking usually results in losing your driver’s license for one year or until your 18th birthday, whichever happens later.

If you refuse a drug or alcohol test to avoid getting charged with DUI, you can also face a license suspension or revocation in California.

Automatic License Suspension in California

California’s DUI laws are strict and quick to come into action. Even first-time DUI offenders usually get their driver’s licenses automatically suspended. You only have 10 days to hire an experienced DUI defense lawyer and request a DMV hearing to contest the suspension.

DMV and Court Hearings

If you are facing DUI charges in California, your attorney is the one that needs to request a DMV hearing to contest the accusations. If your DMV hearing does not have the desired outcome, your lawyer can petition the court for a hardship driver’s license so you can continue to drive to specific locations such as work, school, doctors, or DUI training centers.

How Long Will My License Be Suspended or Revoked?

If you are convicted of a DUI in California, you can expect the following penalties:

  • 1st DUI offense: suspension for six months
  • 2nd DUI offense: suspension for up to two years
  • 3rd DUI offense: suspension for up to three years
  • 4th DUI offense: suspension for up to four years

If you receive a conviction for a habitual traffic offense, your license is revoked for three years.

If you are convicted of DUI while using your commercial truck driver’s license, your first offense results in your commercial driver’s license being suspended for a year and the loss of your personal driver’s license. A second offense leads to a permanent loss of your commercial driver’s license.

How Do I Get My Driver’s License Back After Suspension?

You must complete a mandatory suspension period and the DUI program the court assigned to you. You need to submit both proof of enrollment in the program and a Certificate of Completion (DL-101) to the court. The duration of the suspension and the details of the program depend on your criminal records and your Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) for this particular DUI situation.

You typically need to pay a re-issuance fee to get your driver’s license back at the end of the suspension. This means making a $125 payment to the DMV and filing a Proof of Financial Responsibility (SR22). The reissue fee may be lowered to $100 if you were under the age of 21 at the time of the DUI.

Choose The Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed as Your DUI Defense Lawyer

Our law firm can defend clients facing DUI charges in Oakland, San Francisco, and throughout the East Bay area. If you are detained, attorney Ahmed offers consultations over the phone or can visit you in jail. We are committed to helping you keep your driver’s license. Our team can stand up for your rights no matter whether this is your first offense or any subsequent one. We aim to obtain a dismissal or reduction of the charges.

Did you get arrested for DUI and face suspension of your driver’s license in the East Bay area? Contact The Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed today at (510) 907-6600 to schedule a consultation.