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DMV and DUIs
When someone is arrested for a DUI in San Diego often all that he or she is concerned about is the court side of the process. The defendant is understandably concerned about jail or prison time, and additional crimes that might be charged along with a DUI. However, it’s important to remember that in addition to court proceedings there is also a separate DUI hearing that takes place with the DMV. Even if someone wins his or her court case, it’s still very possible to lose driving privileges because that person lost the in the DMV hearing. Fortunately if someone has a representative on his or her side before setting foot in the hearing the chances that person has of walking out with driving privileges more intact goes up considerably.
A DMV hearing is not like a court hearing. First off, there is no option to have an attorney appointed to an individual. If someone doesn’t bring a representative of his or her own, then that person will have to face the charges alone. While the burden of proof lies on the DMV for explaining why an individual’s driving privileges shouldn’t be reinstated, someone who doesn’t have a command of the legal language, and who cannot cite case law or city law in counterarguments can lose points that would otherwise have weighed heavily on the side of being given back driving privileges.
While it’s tempting to consider the DMV hearing as somehow lesser than the court proceedings because one can’t be sent to jail by a DMV hearing, these hearings can have just as much of an impact on a driver’s future and welfare. If someone wins in court, but fails in the hearing, then that driver doesn’t gain back the ability to get behind the wheel and go where he or she wishes. It may not be the end of the world, but the loss of driving privileges can lead to a lot of major problems. These problems include, but are not limited to, the need to find a carpool, the limited availability of public transportation, and the additional costs in time and money that come from depending on others for one’s needs. In this sense a loss of driving privileges isn’t just something that can be overcome and dealt with in an afternoon; it requires completely re-organizing one’s life and the way an individual chooses to live.
It might seem like a needless, additional cost at first glance to bring a DUI specialist to a DMV hearing as well as to a court appearance, but it’s important to make sure that one is protected everywhere he or she goes until the process is over. That requires access to professional knowledge and skill that many drivers simply don’t have access to every day.
Coming out of a DUI situation unscathed is very difficult to do, and it’s all but impossible if someone doesn’t have the help of a professional DUI attorney like Chris Sohovich on his or her side. Most people focus on the courtroom, but they forget that within ten days of a DUI arrest they have to apply for a DMV hearing about whether or not to re-institute their driving privileges. If that hearing isn’t requested and scheduled, those privileges go right down the drain regardless of whether or not someone is actually convicted of driving under the influence or not.
What’s more, the DMV hearing can seem innocent from the outside; many times it’s even more dangerous than the courtroom for a person’s rights. There’s no law saying a lawyer has to be appointed, and the organization is familiar with all the rules and laws that individuals simply don’t know about unless they’ve been through the process before. That’s why, while it might seem like a needless expense, hiring a DUI expert can make all the difference in coming out of a DMV hearing with one’s driving privileges intact, or having to find alternative means of transportation for months on end until any penalties are lifted.
Having a lawyer doesn’t mean someone has done something wrong; it means that individual has chosen someone to defend his or her rights. A lawyer cannot change facts, but he can make sure that the state proves its case and that all of its own rules get followed during whatever proceedings are taking place. That is an extremely important distinction to make. Often people assume that because they’ve been accused they have no recourse, or that because they are innocent of wrongdoing they won’t be convicted. Both the court and the DMV hearings are an adversarial system, and most average drivers do not have the knowledge, skill, or experience to go toe-to-toe with experienced professionals in their own environment. That’s why it’s important to find a knowledgeable, reliable DUI lawyer who can get into the ring for you and make sure that all procedures and rules are being properly followed.