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DMV Issues

California DUI arrests threaten the driving privileges of all motorists, but out-of-state licensees face unique challenges both in criminal court and at the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Out-of-state motorists arrested for drunk driving in California can lose their driving privileges both here and in their home states. However, a California DUI defense attorney can help accused motorists protect a driving privileges both in California and in the licensing state.

Motorist arrested on suspicion of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in California must request a DMV Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing within 10 days of arrest, regardless of where the driver is licensed. If the driver doesn't request an APS hearing, the Department of Motor Vehicles will automatically suspend his or her driving privileges within the state of California. The suspension imposed by the California DMV is initiated without an actual court conviction.

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Attorneys for the firm represent clients accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or driving with a blood alcohol level at or above the legal limit in San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Alameda, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Sonoma and Napa counties.

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Many out-of-state drivers believe that losing their privileges within California will not damaged the status of their driver's license, but that's not the case. An agreement known as the Interstate Driver's License Compact (IDLC), means that California will likely notify the driver's home state of its action, and that state may suspend the driver's license. The Interstate Driver's License Compact includes 45 states - only Wisconsin, Tennessee, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Michigan are not parties to the agreement. However, even states that belong to the IDLC will not automatically suspend a driver's license based only on a DUI arrest. An experienced California DUI defense attorney can advise drivers of the implications in their licensing states.

In order to suspend driving privileges, the California DMV must only establish by a preponderance of the evidence - the lowest standard of proof in law - that the arresting officer had a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed, that the arrest was lawful, and that the motorist had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or greater at the time of arrest (California V.C. Section 23152 - Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs). This means that even if the driver's criminal case is dismissed, the motorist can still lose his or her driving privileges in both California and at home.

It is imperative to fight a DUI case aggressively both in criminal court and at the California DMV hearing in order to protect a motorist's driving privileges. An experienced California DUI lawyer can help protect an accused DUI driver’s privileges both in California and in the state where the license was issued.

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