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Santa Barbara DUI Lawyer Talks DMV Driver’s License Suspension Hearing

Santa Barbara DUI Lawyers routinely schedule hearings with the DMV following a drunk driving arrest, generally based on the DUI arrest report, and California Vehicle Code §13558(b) which states: “if the person wishes to have a hearing before the effective date of the order of suspension or revocation, the request for a hearing shall be made within 10 days of the receipt of the notice of the order of suspension or revocation.”

The DMV routinely denies a hearing where the request is not within 10 days of service. It usually cites CVC §14101(b) in support of its denial of the hearing request, which merely states: “[a] person is not entitled to a hearing … [i]f the person has previously been given an opportunity with appropriate notice for a hearing and failed to request a hearing within the time specified by law.” It occasionally cites CVC §14103, but if so, such reliance seems misplaced. CVC §14103 states that “[f]ailure to respond to a notice given under this chapter within 10 days is a waiver of the right to a hearing…”

At the discretion of the hearing officer, a continuance of an administrative hearing, or as used here, DMV Driver’s License Suspension hearing, may be granted upon a showing of “good cause.” The motion or request for continuance must be made within 10 working days after the party discovered, or reasonably should have discovered, the grounds for the continuance

“Good Cause” for a continuance according to the DMV’s is generally:

Lack of proper notice; death, injury, or illness of the attorney, driver, or essential witness; the unavailability of the attorney, driver, or essential witness due to an unavoidable event which could not reasonably have been anticipated and there is no substitute of an available actor which would allow a fair hearing to proceed. This includes a mandatory court appearance, but be prepared to provide the name, case number, and court where the appearance is required, and move for the continuance as soon as the conflict is learned, or a significant change in the status of the case which could not reasonably have been anticipated.

Thus, depending on your circumstances, and need to continue a DMV Administrative Per Se Hearing, a continuance may be available. If you are facing a DUI suspension of your license, contact Santa Barbara Attorney Kenneth M. Hallum for a free case consultation. Know your rights, options, and defenses.

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