Walnut Creek has good public transportation that can get you around the downtown area on the Free Ride/Downtown Trolley. The Walnut Creek BART station also allows for travel throughout the Bay Area. However, most people still rely on a car to get them to and from work, school, and running errands on a day-to-day basis. Suddenly losing your driver's license can make daily life more difficult for many Walnut Creek residents.
A driver's license can be suspended for not renewing on time, not having insurance, or getting arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). A DUI arrest will lead to a license suspension even if the driver is not convicted. This is why it is so important to contact you East Bay DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible after an arrest, to fight to keep your driving privileges.
If you were arrested or charged with a DUI in Walnut Creek or Contra Costa County, talk to an experienced East Bay DUI defense lawyer about your options and how you can get your driving privileges back as soon as possible.
Suspended License After a DUI Arrest
During the DUI arrest, a driver will have their license taken away by the police or law enforcement officer. Law enforcement will generally give the individual paper that acts as a temporary driving permit. The permit is good for 30 days. After 30 days, the individual's driving privileges will be suspended.
The license suspension process is separate from the criminal case and is handled by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A driver's opportunity to challenge the automatic suspension requires requesting a formal DMV administrative per se (APS) hearing. Drivers only have 10 days of the arrest to get a DUI DMV hearing.
Talk to your DUI lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest so your lawyer can request a hearing. After requesting a hearing, your license suspension will be put on hold until the hearing. This is a way to extend your temporary driving privileges.
Your DUI lawyer should also be able to handle your DMV APS hearing, so you do not have to take time off of work or school to wait around for a hearing. If you have any questions about the DMV hearings for DUI arrests, talk to your East Bay DUI lawyer.
Penalties for Driving on a Suspended License - VC 14601
Ignoring the license suspension may be tempting but it is a crime to drive on a suspended license. Under California Vehicle Code 14601, “no person shall drive a motor vehicle at any time when that person's driving privilege is suspended or revoked.”
A 1st time conviction for driving on a suspended license can result in imprisonment in a county jail for between 5 days and 6 months, and a fine of between $300 and $1,000.
A second conviction within 5 years of a prior offense shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for between 10 days and 1 year, and a fine of between $500 and $2,000.
How Do You Get Your License Back After a DUI
The easiest way to keep your license after a DUI arrest is to request a DMV hearing and if your attorney is successful, your license will not be administratively suspended unless you are convicted.
If your attorney successfully challenges your DUI arrest and you are found not guilty or the prosecutor drops the charges, then there will be no license suspension. Alternatively, a plea deal for a “wet reckless,” may also help you avoid a license suspension.
However, if you plead guilty, are found guilty, or otherwise are sentenced for a DUI, your license will be suspended. In order to have your driver's license reissued or reinstated after a DUI license suspension, there are a number of requirements that need to be met, including:
- Wait for the suspension period to pass;
- Pay any court fines or fees;
- Provide proof of financial responsibility with an SR-22 certificate;
- Complete DUI school and obtain a Notice of Completion Certificate;
- Have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed, if required; and,
- Pay the driver's license reissue fee to the DMV.
Ignition Interlock Restricted License After a DUI
A driver who had their license suspended for driving a motor vehicle with a certain blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) can be eligible for a restricted driver's license if the person installs an ignition interlock device. This acts like a breathalyzer for a car and requires an alcohol-free breath to start and operate the vehicle.
Most drivers with a 1st time DUI will be able to get an IID restricted license without having to wait for a mandatory suspension period. By driving with an IID on the vehicle, drivers can get to work, school, or anywhere else as long as they have the equipment installed in the vehicle.
Walnut Creek DUI Lawyer
East Bay attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 35 years of DUI experience and understands the consequences for drivers after a DUI arrest. Representing drivers in Walnut Creek and the East Bay, Lynn Gorelick is familiar with the local DUI laws, and the local officers and prosecutors involved. Contact East Bay DUI lawyer Lynn Gorelick today for help in handling a DUI or driving on a suspended license.