Get the DMV Writ of Mandate

Five Steps to Freedom

Get the DMV Writ of Mandate

There are roughly five steps to get a writ of mandate and beat DMV. The first is to have your DMV attorney identify winning issues and help you decide whether or not to pursue the writ. There may be alternatives you should consider, and you must be mindful of the costs, both of pursuing a writ and living with the suspension. Once the decision is made to retain us to seek a writ, we will prepare the record of what happened at the DMV hearing. (We also usually get a stay of the suspension pending the outcome on the writ.) The fourth step is to obtain the writ itself and finally, to make DMV pay your attorney’s fees.

Identify Your Winning Issues

Do you have a good case? Unfortunately, a writ will not be available in every situation so having the right kind of case is crucial. Sometimes DMV is within its right to suspend or refuse to issue/renew a license. A writ will be available only when DMV acts contrary to the evidence or treats you unfairly at the hearing. You must seek the advice of a qualified DMV attorney to know if you have a case that can beat DMV.

If you had an attorney at DMV, the quickest and easiest way for us to help you get a writ is to work with the attorney who represented you at the hearing. Often with one phone call with that attorney we can identify the winning issues for your case and obtain all the documentation necessary to win the writ. There are times where it is not practical or desirable to work with your prior attorney; we understand that, too. We can work directly with you and DMV to obtain what we need to move forward.

If you didn’t have a lawyer at DMV, kudos to you for taking on the State of California on your own! In cases where you represented yourself at DMV, our first task is to assess your chances of winning the writ. We will usually conduct a telephone or office conference with you and go over what happened at DMV. In some instances, it will be necessary to obtain a recording of the hearing and prepare a transcript to make this assessment properly. Because of the short deadlines for filing for a DMV writ, you must contact us quickly to give us enough time to make the assessment before the deadline expires. In extreme cases, you can get an extension of the deadline by filing a request for Departmental Review. In other cases it may be necessary to file the writ petition before we can conduct a full assessment of the chances of success.

Prepare the Record

As the DMV attorneys seeking the writ, it is our responsibility to show the judge evidence of why DMV got it wrong. We are responsible for getting all the documents together to make that showing, including the preparation of a written transcript from the recording of your DMV hearing. After our initial assessment and the identification of your winning issues, the first thing we do for you is to compile the documents necessary to win your writ. These documents include all exhibits introduced at the DMV hearing as well as the transcript of all the things said during the hearing. Alternatively, we can pay DMV to prepare the administrative record.

Get A Stay of the Suspension

Step three involves an ex parte motion to obtain a stay of the suspension against you. The stay will allow you to drive while we fight over the writ. Different judges have different standards for granting stays during the writ process, but we have been successful in obtaining a stay of the suspension in more than 70% of our cases.

Get the DMV Writ

After we stay the suspension, we get to work getting the writ. This process can take anywhere from two to four months, which is why it is so important to get a stay of the suspension during the process. (One reason why the $120 Departmental Review is an unhelpful option is that you cannot stay the suspension while you seek it. Another reason is that Departmental Review is conducted by the same kind of DMV employees who suspended you wrongfully in the first place. Save your money. Seek a writ.)

Get Your Attorney’s Fees

After you have won the writ, you may be entitled to reimbursement of your attorneys’ fees. If you can prove that DMV’s action was arbitrary and capricious, you will be entitled to statutory attorneys’ fees.

GC 800, VC 1085, VC 1094.5

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