Can the Orange County Superior Court give me my license back?
The Orange County Superior Court, where your criminal case will be heard, and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Office of Driver Safety for Orange County are the two completely separate entities involved in your DUI matter. Can the Orange County Superior Court give me my license back?
The two entities involved are in different locations. Each location has their own rules regarding the punishment they can give you from your DUI arrest. Each has their own procedures, as one is civil, and one is administrative (civil).
Completely dismissing, or even reducing, your DUI charges in a criminal court may not lead to a dismissal of driving privilege punishment from the DMV. The entities do not have an influence on each other and do not keep track of what each other does in your case. As a result, the court, and the judge, cannot give you your driver’s license back in a DUI.
What can a judge do to me in a DUI case?
The judge hearing your Orange County DUI case is limited in certain ways. That judge can only issue only certain types of punishment. If you plead guilty to DUI, or are found guilty of DUI, a judge can choose from any punishment that is between the minimum and the maximum for a DUI, which includes any of the following:
- Probation, under all DUI probation terms;
- Jail time for your DUI;
- DUI fines and fees;
- Community service for your DUI;
- The mandatory alcohol program or alcohol school and classes for DUI;
- Attendance at a MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) presentation;
- Submission of a DNA sample;
- Placing you under search and seizure terms; and
- Ordering payment of restitution for any damages from an accident.
Can the Orange County Superior Court give me my license back? The one thing that the judge has no authority over, however, is your driver’s license. A judge cannot suspend, revoke, grant you, or issue a probation, restricted, or temporary driver’s license. The law places all authority regarding your driving privileges with the DMV and does not allow the judge to make any orders regarding driving privileges.
What can the DMV do to me in a DUI case?
In the same way, the DMV in an Orange County DUI cannot give you probation, community service, jail time, probation, or other sentences issued by the Courts, all they can do is to suspend or revoke driving privileges for a particular license affected by a DUI.
However, the DMV only has the authority to suspend or revoke driving privileges after a hearing if four elements are proven, with admissible evidence:
- You were driving a vehicle;
- You were pulled over for a valid legal reason;
- You were placed under lawful arrest; and
- You had a blood alcohol content of .08 or over.
If any one of those issues is not proven with legally admissible evidence, the DMV must give you your license back. However, if all of these elements are present, and are sufficiently proven, the DMV can suspend your driving privileges, regardless of what the outcome of your criminal case was.
What is the outcome if I lose my DMV hearing in a DUI case?
If you lose your DMV hearing, your driving privileges will be suspended for a period of time. The length of time of suspension depends on the circumstances involved in your DUI arrest.
- If you have priors, you will be facing a longer suspension period.
- If you refused a breath or blood test, you will be facing a longer suspension period.
- If you were under 21 at the time of your arrest, you will be facing a one-year suspension of driving privileges.
- If you were on probation for a DUI, you will be facing a one-year suspension of driving privileges.
Can the Orange County Superior Court give me my license back? No. But the DMV can reinstate your license independent of the court in an Orange County DUI case.
If you are facing DUI charges anywhere in Orange County, make sure to let an experienced DUI Lawyer in Orange County represent you and fight for you. A DUI attorney can assert all of your defenses at the DMV, and in court, to protect you and minimize the punishment and effects on you from your case. Contact us today.