Ventura County has become notorious for enforcing some of the most severe driving under the influence (DUI) laws in the state. Individuals who are charged with DUI in Ventura or other communities in the county typically face harsher sentencing guidelines than those in other counties. When aggravating circumstances are involved, including multiple DUIs or DUIs that cause injury, the penalties can be extremely serious.
Apart from the high stakes involved in the criminal process, and serious penalties that include terms of imprisonment and hefty fines, individuals charged with DUI should be aware that they also face separate proceedings with the DMV. A DMV hearing is essentially an administrative process that determines if you committed a violation of California's Vehicle Code – specifically driving under the influence. It does not concern whether you are guilty of a criminal offense. Still, the penalties handed down by the DMV can be severe and may include:
- License suspension
- License revocation
- Mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)
- Points on your driver's license
Repercussions associated with any penalty to your driver's license can quickly add up. Not only can losing your ability to drive negatively impact your personal and professional life, but the collateral expenses can also threaten your financial well-being. If you are required to install an IID – which is becoming an increasingly common requirement in Ventura County DUI cases – you will be required to pay for the device to be installed and removed, as well as a monthly charge for calibration. Points on your license can also result in an increase of your auto insurance premiums.
In order to defend yourself against license penalties, you must request a hearing with the DMV within 10 days of your arrest – this is crucial. If you do not request a hearing within 10 days, you may face an immediate suspension of your license. DMV hearings are your opportunity to challenge the circumstances and evidence surrounding your arrest and you must take immediate action in order to protect your driving privileges. Our legal team can help you do just that.
At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, our Ventura DUI lawyers represent clients during both criminal proceedings and DMV hearings. If you would like to discuss your case with a member of our legal team, contact us for a FREE consultation.