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San Rafael DUI Lawyer-Michael Rehm

Available for free, confidential consultations 24/7 at (415) 251-1680


The officer took my license and gave me a pink piece of paper that states it is a temporary driver’s license. Can you explain what exactly is going on with this?

When you are arrested for driving under the influence, law enforcement will normally confiscate your driver’s license (assuming it is a California Driver’s License) and provide you with a temporary driver’s license (the pink piece of paper).  That license is valid for 30 days from the date of the arrest.

Here is where it gets confusing for some people: if you have a blood alcohol level of a .08 or more, and there is proof you were actually driving the vehicle, and the police had a lawful reason to detain and arrest you, the DMV is going to attempt to take your driver’s license. You have the right to contest this at what is referred to as an Administrative Per Se hearing.  In order to exercise your right to have the hearing, you or your Marin County DUI Attorney, must contact the DMV and set up the hearing within 10 days of the arrest. The hearing does not have to occur within 10 days of the arrest, it just has to be set up within 10 days of the arrest. If you do not set up the hearing within 10 days of the arrest, the DMV will take your license 30 days from the date of the arrest, assuming they can prove the issues discussed at the beginning of this paragraph.  The DMV will basically issue a default ruling against you.

If you do set the DMV hearing, the DMV will then mail you a new temporary driver’s license that should state that your license is valid through the outcome of the hearing. It will just be another piece of paper though, so if you need a photo id while the case is going on, you should make an appointment to get a California identification card right away.  Therefore, the pink piece of paper acts as your driver’s license for 30 days from the date of the arrest. If you set up the DMV hearing within 10 days of the arrest, the DMV will mail you a new temporary license that shows as being valid through the outcome of the hearing, whether the hearing takes place 30 days from the date of the arrest, or 6 months away.

What are the advantages of setting up the DMV hearing?

There are several. First and foremost, you get the opportunity to challenge your license being taken away. Second, you can obtain the police report from the DMV, as soon as they receive it. Legally, a criminal defendant is not entitled to discovery until a minimum of the first court date. If the DMV hearing is set, many times the police report can be obtained prior to the first court date which allows your dui lawyer to analyze the evidence in advance which is always advantageous to the defense. Even if you have no desire to contest the DMV portion of the case, potentially receiving the police report prior to the first court date can be extremely beneficial.  Third, your driver’s license remains valid through the outcome of the hearing. It is common for DUI cases in Marin to last for at least three months. In order to properly analyze the strength of your case, your dui attorney needs to obtain a lot of different evidence. This can take time. Therefore, if the court case is taking an expected or unexpected amount of time, as long as the DMV hearing is continued as well, you maintain a valid driver’s license. The status quo remains while your attorney works on your case. It is much better than dealing with a DUI case without a driver’s license.

My paperwork says I am being charged with two different counts?

In the overwhelming majority of DUI cases, the defendant is charged with two code sections. Vehicle Code 23152(a) and 23152(b).   Vehicle Code 23152(a) states that it is unlawful to drive under the influence of alcohol. There is no requirement that the blood alcohol level be .08% or more. Prosecutors throughout California bring this count when the blood alcohol level is below a .08%.   They attempt to show drunk driving through other evidence. Specifically, the driving pattern, performance on the field sobriety tests, the observations of  law enforcement (bloodshot eyes, etc.). If the blood alcohol level is .08% or more, the (a) count still applies. It only strengthens the prosecutor’s case.

Vehicle Code 23152(b) purely deals with having a blood alcohol level of a 0.08% or more. The district attorney must prove that you were driving with a .08% or more. There must be what is referred to as a concurrence of elements. Meaning, it is not enough that they prove you were driving, or had a .08%. They must prove that while you were driving, you had a .08% or more.

If the case is ultimately resolved through plea bargaining, and a plea of guilty is entered, the majority of times the district attorney will dismiss one of the charges for a plea to the other.

 If I hire an attorney, do I have to attend court?

If you are charged with a felony, yes. In order for DUI to be felony it must be your fourth in ten years, or there must have been an injury associated with it. Keep in mind though, that DUI with Injury can also be charged as a misdemeanor. On a misdemeanor case, with some exceptions, the client does not need to be there. Your DUI Attorney can appear for you. See the Penal Code 977 page for more information on this subject.

What happens when I hire you?

I basically take over. I will set up the DMV hearing, request the police report from the DMV and, unless you are charged with a felony, go to court for you and execute whatever the plan of attack is. The plan of attack will obviously be based on the evidence.

Contact DUI Attorney Michael Rehm at (415) 251-1680 for a free consultation to determine what consequences your DUI might bring, and the most effective way to defend your charge. For information on San Rafael Personal Injury matters, visit his San Rafael Car Accident Attorney page.

Legal Resources:

Santa Cruz Car Accident Lawyer

Updated Marin DUI School Info