DUI Writs-Appealing a License Suspension

Beverly Hills Premier DUI Writ Lawyer

The Law Office of Bradley S. Sandler is experienced and successful with DMV writs. A writ is the first court remedy for an appeal of 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. 

The DMV License Suspension

Within 10-30 days after your APS, the hearing officer of the DMV driver safety branch that conducted will issue of Notice of Decision and Findings. At the bottom of the last page of the Notice, it will tell you there is 34 days from the date of the letter to seek review from the Superior Court. To challenge the suspension, you must file the writ. 

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. 

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 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. 

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 Briefing

Once the record is received, you are ready to “write” as they say in DUI writ practice and the court will set a Trial Setting Conference to 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 and will set aside the suspension. 

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.

The Law Office of Bradley S. Sandler A Professional Corporation provides skilled and efficient help. Call 310-246-3900 or contact me at bradley@sandlerlawfirm.com to schedule a consultation at my Beverly Hills office.