Yes, it is true. If you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol, you have two cases. One is with the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the other with the Ventura County Superior Court (or whatever county you were arrested in). The two cases are based on your arrest, but are independent from one another. This means you may win one case and lose the other, win both, or lose both.
The first case is with the DMV. After your DUI arrest, you have 10 days to call the DMV to schedule a hearing if you so desire – which is highly recommended. The DMV will determine if your license will be suspended for a period of time, depending on the charges and any prior DUIs.
DMV has a much lower burden of proof in determining whether your license shall be suspended. Unlike the criminal courts where it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the DMV merely needs to prove by a preponderance of evidence three main points:
- You were legally detained by the police
- You were driving the vehicle
- Your blood alcohol level was at least .08%
During the DMV hearing, which can be in-person or telephonic, the DMV explains what evidence and exhibits they have to prove their case. This includes all paperwork, recordings, etc., regarding your traffic stop and arrest, as well as your driving record. It is critical that some items are objected to in order to prevent them from coming in to the hearing and for preserving your rights for an appeal. Once the DMV has concluded their case, it is up to you (or your attorney) to present a closing argument. This is where you present any defenses and evidence to support your case. After both sides have stated their case, the DMV will mail the hearing results within two weeks.
The second case is with the local court. The District Attorney has one year to file your case, unlike the DMV, which moves rapidly. It is during this time that you build your defense and decide whether to fight the charge, plead, or plea bargain. Evidence that you subpoenaed for your DMV hearing can become critical when deciding what you want to do. Once all the evidence and facts are obtained, we can assist you with a game plan as how to proceed in the legal maze.
At the Law Offices of Jarrod Wilfert, we have experienced DUI lawyers to help you fight your case with DMV and preserve your rights. For the criminal portion of your case, we also have decades of experience regarding how to proceed with your case, whether you decide to fight it, plead, or plea bargain. We have the resources, the skill, and the commitment to help you through this tough time. Please call (805) 994-0560 for a free consultation with a seasoned Ventura DUI attorney.