If the California DMV has suspended or revoked your driver's license based on a DUI citation, you will need to understand the basics of the process you will need to go through in order to get your license back. DUI convictions can result in jail time, heavy fines, counseling requirements, and other consequences. An expert defense attorney can assist you in defeating or reducing those punishments in-court, but license suspension is an administrative action independent of the court system. We can assist you in being prepared for your DMV hearing, which is the only proceeding that can reinstate your driver's license.

In order to have a Long Beach DMV hearing, you must file for one with the Driver's Safety Office within 10 days of your DUI. If you fail to file within 10 days, you lose your right to a hearing. There will then be an administrative review process, which will culminate in your DUI simply being canceled if it is found to be baseless. Otherwise, you will proceed to your scheduled hearing.The presiding officer at the DMV hearing will determine the following:

  • Did the officer who pulled you over have reasonable cause to believe your were violating California law?
  • Were you driving a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of .08 if 21 or more years old, or of .05 if under 21?
  • Was your arrest conducted in a lawful manner?

If a negative answer is determined for any of these questions, your DUI will be dismissed. If we can prove you were not given the proper documentation at the time of your arrest or that your rights were in any way overlooked, we can win a dismissal for you. If the officer did not properly conduct the breathalyzer or blood test, we can get your case immediately dropped. But, even if there is no way to gain a total dismissal, we can often obtain for you a restricted license that allows you to drive to your job and back during the suspension period.

The Rules of Suspension

A first offense brings a six-month suspension of your license. A second offense within 10 years of the first will bring a two-year suspension. A third offense brings three years without a license, and a fourth offense results in license loss for four full years. Thus, the punishments increase with repeat convictions, making it imperative to get expert assistance that could help you avoid or mitigate such consequences.

If you refused to submit to a breathalyzer or blood-alcohol test, you will be given a "per se suspension" (APS) should the DMV hearing find the officer had probable cause to pull you over. An APS removes eligibility for a restricted license and doubles the first-offense suspension period to 12 months. You can challenge an APS, but you must do so quickly to increase your chances of success.

To get your restricted license or to get your license reinstated after a suspension, you must submit an SR-22 to the California DMV. This form certifies that you have purchased minimum liability insurance form a valid California auto insurance provider. Even if you do not own a vehicle, you must acquire "non-owner's insurance" and submit an SR-22 to get your driver's license back. Normally, you will have three years to submit your SR-22, but sometimes the period is shorter, so do not needlessly delay.


David Givot has vast experience at handling all manner of DUI cases in Long Beach and southern California. He can explain to you your rights, the exact stipulations of the law, and the details of the courtroom and DMV-hearing process. Over and over again, he has won cases just like yours, and you can count on him to walk you through your DUI calamity step-by-step until you finally get your license back. If your license has been suspended or revoked for a DUI, do not hesitate to call the law offices of David Givot at 562-206-2012 for a free consultation.