DUI Writs

Los Angeles Premier DUI Writ Lawyer

The Law Office of Bradley S. Sandler is experienced and successful with overturning bad DMV Decisions and filing DMV writs. A writ is the first court remedy for an appeal of an administrative decision. California Civil Code §1094.5 governs the filing of a Writ to challenge a license suspension issued by a DMV driver safety branch after an Administrative Per Se Hearing (APS). A writ can be used by any licensee to challenge a license suspension of any length, including 2nd and 3rd DUI's, refusals and under 21 juvenile DUI's. Los Angeles DUI Writ lawyer Bradley S. Sandler has successfully filed writs challenging the administrative decisions of a DMV driver safety branch. With the help of an actual Judge of the California Superior Court, our firm has convinced courts to overrule the DMV's draconian decisions. For this reason, it is important to treat an APS DMV hearing like a trial. At an APS hearing, we present testimony through the officers, our client, forensic alcohol experts, exhibits and other medical information when necessary to create a Record. Attorney Sandler understands the DMV hearing officers make mistakes. Don't make the mistake of taking your APS hearing lightly! Proper preparation for success at an APS hearing always requires thorough and complete presentation of your case, with a view toward review from the Superior Court.

The DMV License Suspension

Within 10-30 days after your APS, the hearing officer of the DMV driver safety branch that conducted your hearing will issue of a Notice of Decision and Findings. At the bottom of the last page of the Notice, it will tell you there are 34 days from the date of the letter to seek review in the Superior Court. To challenge the suspension, you must file the writ. Bradley S. Sandler has drafted numerous writs and has a deep understanding of the proper way to draft the Petition. A writ is a civil lawsuit with its own language. Many so called DUI lawyers have no idea how or what to do regarding DUI writs. If you have lost your license due to losing the APS hearing, call our firm immediately to discuss your options.

Filing the writ

Preparation and filing of the writ petition can be accomplished within a few days, in most cases, after the DMV Notice of Findings is received by the licensee. In order to draft the Petition, all that is needed is the Civil Judicial Council forms, the Notice of findings and decision, and the Petition in pleading format. Every county has different rules for filing and serving the writ. In Los Angeles County, the writ is filed and then served, as with any lawsuit. The lawyer's for the DMV is the California Attorney General's office. Sometimes, the AG's office will negotiate with licensee's counsel to settle or resolve the license suspension without fully prosecuting the writ. This is obviously dependent on the facts and circumstances of the case and the driving history of the licensee.

Ex Parte Notice and the Stay

Most times, clients need their license to work and live. There is an opportunity to stop or "stay" the suspension issued in the Notice of Findings and Decision upon filing a writ. California Civil Code § 1094.5 (g) provides ...... the court in which proceedings under this section are instituted may stay the operation of the administrative order or decision pending the judgment of the court, or until the filing of a notice of appeal from the judgment or until the expiration of the time for filing the notice, whichever occurs first. However, no such stay shall be imposed or continued if the court is satisfied that it is against the public interest. Emphasis added. The appropriate way to obtain a stay is to give Ex Parte notice to the DMV legal office in Sacramento that you are filing a writ and seeking a stay on a particular day in a particular court. The DMV legal office will send a fax to include with your Ex Parte petition to the Court, indicating whether or not they oppose the stay and if they will appear at court. At the hearing, the court will look at your driving record and facts of the case to determine if a stay should be granted. Los Angeles DUI Writ lawyer Bradley S. Sandler has successfully stayed the license suspension using these procedures for various clients.

Sometimes, licensees will file a writ and seek a stay even if the strength of their case is not strong. This allows time to prepare a for long suspension that may impact your work or family.

The Record

As mentioned before, the Record is of paramount importance to a DUI Writ. It is the only evidence the Judge of the Superior Court may review to determine if the APS decision should be set aside. The exception to this basic rule is evidence the DMV hearing officer excluded or did not consider at the hearing. DUI Writ counsel can make a motion to Augment the record to include these items in making their decision. The cost of the record is usually $300-500 and must be paid by the licensee. If you win the Writ hearing, the Judge will order the DMV to reimburse the filing fees and costs of the transcript.

The Briefing

Once the record is received, you are ready to "write" as they say in DUI writ practice and the court will give a briefing schedule. The briefing schedule usually takes 3-6 months with the opening brief being filed 60 days before the hearing, the Answer 30 days prior to the hearing and the reply 15 days prior to the hearing. The Record is lodged at the time of the Reply and must be bates stamped with the letters "AR" and the page number of the records after it ie "AR 1".

The Hearing

When you arrive at the hearing the Judge will have issued a tentative ruling of its decision to grant or deny the Writ. If the Court finds the DMV respondent has proceeded without, or in excess of, jurisdiction; or there was an unfair trial; or there was a prejudicial abuse of discretion, or where it is claimed that the findings are not supported by the evidence, the court exercises its independent judgment on the evidence. Abuse of discretion is established if the court determines that the findings are not supported by the weight of the evidence. In all other cases, abuse of discretion is established if the court determines that the findings are not supported by substantial evidence in the light of the whole record. Whether the tentative ruling is in your favor or not, you must have experienced DUI Writ counsel to be ready to argue and convince the Judge you are right.

The Orders

After the hearing the Judge will sign the Tentative ruling, and will order the Petitioner to prepare the Judgment with the Court's orders. If the court Grants the Writ, the Judgment will be served on the DMV and they will set aside the suspension of your license. The DMV will also remove the APS hearing suspension from your driving record.

Call DUI Writ Counsel Bradley S. Sandler to evaluate the merits of your case.

Call 424-285-5978 or complete our online intake form to schedule a consultation