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Criminal Defense

Handling cases in Ventura County, and portions of Santa Barbara and Los Angeles Counties

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What is the Process for Getting Your Driving Privileges Back after a DUI in California?

Sign that reads Driving is a privledge

Convictions for Driving Under the Influence in California can bring very stiff penalties, including driver’s license suspension. As anyone living in Southern California can attest, getting to work or school without a driver’s license can feel just about impossible. The last thing you need after being convicted of a DUI is to lose your job due to losing your mode of transportation to and from work.

Suspensions may be avoidable

The length of time of your license suspension will vary depending on the circumstances surrounding your DUI, such as whether it was your first offense, or your blood alcohol level at the time of the arrest. An experienced DUI attorney may even be able to help you to maintain your complete driving privileges after a DUI, if successful at a DMV hearing on your license suspension.

Drivers may be eligible for a restricted license

Some drivers may be unable to avoid a license suspension. For example, if your blood alcohol level was over a certain threshold, if you refused a chemical test, or if you were under 21 when found to be driving under the influence, it may not be possible to avoid a license suspension. Under many circumstances, those with a suspended license may still be able to drive on a restricted license, allowing them to do any work-related driving they need to do, as well as get to their mandatory DUI classes. A Ventura DUI lawyer can help you obtain restricted driving privileges after a DUI.

License reinstatement isn’t automatic

After your license is suspended in association with a DUI, there will be certain steps to take in order to get it back at the end of the suspension period. Remember, your license will NOT automatically be reinstated at the end of the suspension period, and if you try to drive without taking the necessary steps, you could face serious penalties if you get pulled over.

In order to reinstate your license, you’ll need to complete the following:

  • Finish the full suspension period
  • Serve any jail sentence, work release, or alternative sentence, and obtain a certificate proving that you completed your sentence
  • Complete mandatory DUI school, also known as alcohol school or DUI traffic school
  • Follow through with any other terms of your sentence, such as installing an ignition interlock device on your car or obtaining substance abuse counseling
  • Obtain car insurance, and get an SR-22 form from your insurer that proves you have it
  • You’ll need to bring proof of all these items to the DMV to apply for reinstatement. You’ll also need to pay a fee to reinstate your license, which will vary depending on the terms of your suspension.

If you’re being charged with a DUI in Southern California, get help fighting the charges by contacting the skilled, aggressive Ventura DUI lawyer Paul Tyler for a consultation, at 805-889-9000.

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