Preliminary Checklist Before you go to the trouble and expense of pursuing a writ, ask yourself if there is an easier way to get what you want. One thing you want, of course, is to be able to drive again after a DMV suspension. Believe it or not, there are several alternatives to consider after a bad DMV hearing. Make sure you or your attorney analyze the issues in your case and consider each of these alternatives before accepting the suspension 1. WORK-RESTRICTED LICENSE If the DMV suspension is a first-offense administrative suspension, you will likely be able to obtain a restricted license after thirty days. (For second and greater offenses, the waiting time is much longer – a year or longer.) This restricted license will allow you to drive legally for three purposes: (1) to get to and from work; (2) to drive in the course and scope of work; and (3) to get to and from the first offender’s DUI program. Take a close look at Number Two, the "course and scope of work" clause. This means you can drive not only to and from work but anywhere that is required for you to do your job. Many professionals and self-employed individuals can take advantage of this kind of license because they are almost always traveling in the
Okay, so it’s not really without a fight; it would have been more precise to say without having to fight all the way. Let me explain. When I go to court to seek a writ, I carry a very big stick. That stick is the one weapon DMV hates most of all: the brutal club of attorneys’ fees. You see, when I win a DMV writ after an arbitrary hearing officer suspends my client’s license, DMV has to pay my attorneys’ fees. On this point our legislators in Sacramento got it right: a motorist should not have to pay five thousand dollars to prove DMV shafted him at the hearing. We can use the threat of attorneys’ fees to our advantage. Where I can make a convincing showing to DMV that they’re going to be paying my fees, their attorney usually calls me up and offers to return my client’s license without any more fighting. In exchange for the license, DMV asks my client to waive her right to reimbursement of attorneys’ fees. So far, every single client offered this deal has taken the sure-thing license return and avoided the chance, however slight, that she would lose in court. As a lawyer, I always have to recommend the sure thing over rolling the dice in court, but I am waiting
Be On The Lookout Order #1 WANTED: BLOOD TEST CASES BASED ON TEST REPORT ALONE Do you or (for attorneys) your clients have a case where the DMV relied or intends to rely on a blood test alone to prove BAC? If so, check to see what title appears after the name of the toxicologist. If no title appears, or the title “criminalist” appears, or some other non-statutory term appears, DMV ought not to be allowed to use it against you. Our office currently has multiple cases at the Court of Appeal on this issue, and it likely will be a landmark DMV case when it is decided. Be On The Lookout Order #2 WANTED: REFUSAL CASES BASED ON MEDICAL ISSUES Do you or (for attorneys) your clients have a refusal case where a medical issue prevented you or your client from understanding implied consent? As you may know, the Vehicle Code provides an exemption to the consequences of a refusal if the motorist suffered a condition that prevented her from understanding the requirements of implied consent or the consequences of a refusal. If so, you may be able to join with me in an appeal pending currently in the Second Appellate District or to initiate a concurrent appeal in another district.
If DMV took your driver license away wrongfully, we can help you get it back. You see, we are a California law firm, and we limit our practice to DMV hearings, DMV writs and other vehicle-related matters. We also serve as appellate counsel for other criminal defense lawyers, so you can trust that we know what we’re doing! “Writ” is another word for “order.” A DMV writ (or, if you prefer the fancy term, writ of mandate) is an order signed by a judge telling DMV to give you your license back. The writ process is the way you appeal a DMV suspension—if you win the appeal, you get a writ; if you win the writ, you get your license back. And we know how to get writs! We can help you get a DMV writ in most every California county, so give us a call. But act quickly, because in most cases you have only thirty days to challenge DMV before its decision becomes final. Rodney Gould, Esq. Attorney at Law (818) 981-1760 email@example.com
Issues Not Raised at the DMV Hearing Are Waived One of the most frustrating aspects of my practice is seeing an issue that I know will win a DMV writ, only to find that the attorney or motorist handling the hearing failed to state the right objection or raise the issue at the time. You see—with rare exceptions—to get you a DMV writ, I can only raise issues that were raised in the hearing. If an issue is overlooked during the hearing, it is likely waived forever. Thus, even where DMV took your license wrongfully, they may get away with it if you don’t call them on it during the hearing. Of course, the hearing officer is going to overrule your objections (after all, it was that same hearing officer who offered the documents you’re objecting to), but at least your objections will raise the issue and might preserve the record for a DMV writ. The "Holy Trinity" of DMV Objections No basic article on DMV objections could hope to cover all the scenarios faced at DMV hearings, but there are recurring issues that suggest a three-part objection model. The first and reining champion of DMV objections is Hearsay. If you do nothing else at a DMV hearing, say the word "hearsay" as an objection to every document. You’ll be