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What Can Happen to My License After DUI?

If you’re arrested for driving under the influence in California, you will have to deal with a two-part process: 1) the Department of Motor Vehicle’s attempt to suspend your California driver license, and 2) the DUI charges filed against you by the prosecutor.

The consequences of a California DUI depend on a variety of factors, such as your criminal record, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), and whether anyone else was injured or hurt as a result of your driving under the influence.

A DUI conviction will typically lead to fines, driver license suspension, DUI probation, DUI School, AA classes, community service, and an Ignition Interlock Device (IID). However, when you enlist a defense attorney, it is possible to reduce or avoid a number of the penalties associated with a California DUI.


When you are arrested for DUI, the DMV automatically starts a process that can lead to the suspension of your driver license – this is the Administrative Per Se Hearing. To challenge the suspension of your driver license, you must contact the DMV within 10 daysof the DUI arrest and request a hearing.

If you don’t schedule a hearing within this small window, your driver license will automatically be suspended 30 days from the date you were arrested. If you request the DMV hearing within 10 days of the arrest, you are allowed to drive while you wait for your hearing because of a “stay” on the automatic license suspension. It could be several weeks to a few months before your hearing.


“Can I represent myself at the DMV hearing?” Yes, you can, but your chances of winning are very low if you are not represented by an attorney. If you secure an experienced lawyer, they can present evidence explaining why the license suspension is not justified.

For example, your attorney can show the court that you were the victim of an unlawful police stop, or that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was below 0.08%. If the DMV sees your lawyer’s point of view, it’s possible for the automatic suspension to be set aside.

The length of a DUI license suspension varies depending on different factors. It can be four months for a driver 21 or older who submitted to a chemical test, but it can be a lifetime suspension for a commercial driver who is convicted of a second DUI within 10 years of his or her first DUI offense.

Facing DUI charges in Orange County? For help with the DMV hearing and the criminal charges, contact our firm at once!