California imposes many penalties on people who are tried and convicted of drunk driving, including fines and possible jail time. Some of the penalties begin immediately after arrest, before the person has had a trial, and these can wreak havoc on a person's life.
As soon as a person is arrested on suspicion of DUI, a police officer submits a notice of suspension of revocation to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Often, the officer also confiscates the driver's license at that time. The driver has 10 days to request a hearing from the DMV in order to protest the suspension or revocation order.
Officially, a licensed driver who has been issued a driver's license can legally drive for 30 days after receiving the notice of suspension or revocation. However, if the police officer confiscated the license, the driver is typically required to pay a $100 fee to get it back. If the DMV upholds a suspension order, it will suspend a driver's license for four months after a first-offense drunk driving arrest. A second offense within the next ten years will lead to a 10-year license suspension.
Many of us don't realize how much we depend on our driving privileges until something prevents us from driving. It can hard to get to work, to pick up children from school or to do many other tasks without a car. And of course, a person who is arrested on suspicion of DUI and then drives with a suspended license can run into even more trouble should they be pulled over a second time.
It's important to seek out help from an attorney as soon as possible after being arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. A criminal defense lawyer can help with protecting a client's license, as well as protecting the client from criminal charges.