Santa Rosa DMV Hearing Lawyer

DMV Administrative Hearings

If you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in California, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is permitted to suspend your driving privileges automatically, regardless of the evidence against you in your criminal case. The only way to defend yourself from this suspension is to request a DMV administrative hearing within 10 days of your arrest, which is when you should be notified of the pending automatic suspension. Police officers immediately confiscate drivers' licenses when they make DUI arrests, but motorists still have the chance to retain their driving privileges by requesting, attending, and winning their DMV hearings.

For the legal assistance and trustworthy counsel you need to successfully keep your license, contact our Santa Rosa DMV hearing attorney from the Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig, P.C. today.

What Is a DMV Hearing?

DMV hearings are exactly that—hearings, but held at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) instead of criminal court. These administrative hearings allow you to present an argument in your defense in order to reverse the suspension of your driver's license. Otherwise, you will be unable to drive until your DUI case is decided.

If you win your DMV hearing, then your driver's license will be returned to you and you will have a stronger argument to present for your criminal DUI proceeding. Should you lose your DMV hearing, your license suspension will continue, but your DUI case in criminal court will be unaffected. In order to get your license back in this situation, you will need to win your criminal DUI case by getting your charges dropped or your case dismissed. In any case, a conviction will result in the suspension of your license.

License Suspension Periods for DUI in California:

  • First DUI: 6 – 10 months.
  • Second DUI**: 2 years.
  • Third DUI**: 3 years.
  • Fourth or subsequent DUI**: Felony DUI; 10 years.

The DMV Hearing Process in Sonoma County

An administrative DMV hearing is not a criminal trial by any means but it is somewhat similar. You are permitted to retain the services of a defense attorney who can speak on your behalf during the hearing. Your goal will be to persuade the overseeing members of the department that the automatic suspension of your license would be unjust and cause you undue hardship. In this effort, preparation is critical.

The DMV’s administrative hearing will include:

  • Information: At the beginning of the hearing, you will be told by the DMV faculty why your license will be suspended. This is your DUI attorney’s first opportunity to react to what the opposition may use as an argument against you.
  • Challenge: You have the right to use trial-like measures to challenge the evidence and defend yourself and your driving privileges. You can bring forth your own evidence and witnesses, cross-examine those who give testimonies against you, and even testify for yourself, if it seems advisable. If you have secured the services of a Santa Rosa DMV hearing lawyer, you will find this process much, much easier, as you can simply rely on a legal professional to act on your behalf, rather than trying to learn the procedures yourself in only 10 days.
  • Decision and appeals: If all has gone in your favor and you have had a successful defense, the DMV may lessen the severity or duration of your license’s suspension. Ideally, the action will be rescinded altogether. If no change is made to your advantage, you can appeal the decision to a higher court for review.

Reminder: Winning a DMV administrative hearing after being arrested for a DUI is not the same as winning your criminal case. You will still need to protect yourself from a DUI conviction and penalties through a criminal court case. Talk to your Santa Rosa DMV hearing attorney and see if they can also help you with criminal defense cases.

Why You Need a DMV Hearing Hearing in Sonoma County

You are not required to have an attorney at a DMV hearing; however, having a lawyer attend your hearing on your behalf will greatly increase your chances of keeping your license. Do not take chances with your freedom. Act now to get a Sonoma County DMV hearing attorney on your side. 

Call (707) 418-5352 for Total DUI Defense

Our Santa Rosa DMV hearing lawyer is well-versed in all matters related to criminal defense cases, meaning we can provide you the services you require for both your DMV administrative hearing and your DUI criminal case. Do not lose any more time shopping around for attorneys who may or may not be confident in their abilities and choose to work with our team instead. Led by a professional who has been listed in Super Lawyers® Rising Stars℠ (2015), we have the knowledge and know-how required to protect your rights and freedom of mobility.

Free consultations are available for you to start your defense without worrying about costs. Call (707) 418-5352 to get started today.

** Within a 10-year period.

Santa Rosa DMV

2570 Corby Ave.         
Santa Rosa, CA 95407

(800) 777-0133


Petaluma DMV

715 - J Southpoint Blvd.         
Petaluma, CA 94954

(800) 777-0133


With You Every Step of the Way Firm Videos

Looking for a criminal defense attorney who will fight for you every step of the way? Press play on the video to the right and gain valuable insights on how the Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig can help you. Our experienced attorney is here to guide you through the legal process and fight for your rights. Don't wait any longer, press play now and take the first step towards protecting your future.


Our Clients Tell It Best

  • "I was really pleased with the outcome. He is truly the best."
    Charles H.
  • "Evan demonstrates a level of care for his client's needs that goes beyond expectations."
    Erick B.
  • "Evan provided professional and responsive representation during an inconvenient experience. He was always available when needed, knew all the details of the process, and was up-to-speed on the latest details of the law."
    Former Client
What Makes Us Stand Apart?
  • 15+ Years' Experience in Criminal Law
  • Prompt Response Times
  • Client-Oriented Services
  • Aggressive, Proactive Approach to Handling Cases
  • Hands-On Guidance & Support Through the Criminal Justice System
Free Consultations Available Contact Our Offices

Whether you have questions or you’re ready to get started, our legal team is ready to help. Complete our form below or call us at (707) 418-5352.

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy