In California and nationwide, one of the most common instances where a person's license is suspended is a conviction for DUI. Being involved in a car accident is not a prerequisite for suspension of a license; a person's license may be suspended if he or she had one drink too many and a breath or other test shows a blood alcohol content above .08 percent.
For a first DUI offense, California drivers can have their licenses suspended for four months. Repeat offenders within 10 years of the first offense, as well as drivers who refuse to submit to a sobriety test, face a one-year license suspension.
Driving With a Suspended License
With the car-centric civil planning of American cities and the lack of viable public transportation options in many places, it is can be understandable that some people would attempt to drive to work, school and other important events while their license has been suspended.
However, driving with a suspended license in California carries stiff penalties. For a first offense, drivers face imprisonment of up to six months and a fine up to $1,000. Second and subsequent offenders can be imprisoned for up to one year and fined up to $2,000. Talk with a DUI defense lawyer to discuss your specific case.
License Reinstatement and Restoration
Once the driver has completed the license suspension period, the driver receives a notice of restoration. On the notice are instructions on how to restore the license. In general, the license is restored once the driver has filed required forms and paid certain fees, depending on the offense.
For many drivers, a better option than passively waiting until the end of the suspension period is to exercise their right to appeal the suspension before an administrative law judge or the DMV Chief Administrator. As this process is similar to a trial, consulting an attorney is very important in license reinstatement proceedings.
If you are facing a suspension of your driver's license, an experienced attorney can advise you of your legal options, assess the evidence against you and assist you with the often complex process of license reinstatement.