In light of the strange nature of San Diego DUI / DMV hearings and the absence of an independent San Diego DUI judge to offer some protection, you are strongly advised not to try to represent yourself. Because these are not San Diego DUI criminal proceedings, San Diego County public defenders are unavailable.
Your San Diego DUI / DMV attorney has just 10 CALENDAR DAYS after the DUI arrest to call the San Diego DMV Driver Safety Office to timely demand a hearing. You waive your right to a hearing after the 10 day deadline is up. The San Diego DMV may not be able to schedule a hearing before your 30-day temporary license expires. Your San Diego DUI / DMV lawyer will request a Notice of Stay of the 30-day temporary license until a San Diego DMV hearing is provided and a San Diego DMV decision is actually rendered.
A San Diego DUI / DMV hearing is controlled by a Driver Safety Officer (DMV hearing officer) rather than a real judge, an employee of the DMV not trained in law who acts as both prosecutor and judge. As unfair as it is, she or he can legally object to your evidence, rule on her or his own objection, dually engage your San Diego DUI / DMV lawyer, and admit or not admit either party’s evidence.
The San Diego Driver Safety Office is located at 9174 Sky Park Avenue, Suite 200, San Diego (858/627-3901 or fax 858/627-3925).
The San Diego Driver Safety Officer offers evidence in the form of documents and/or witnesses. The Driver Safety Officer offers the San Diego drunk driving / DUI police report, DMV records, San Diego DUI alcohol reports and the important San Diego DUI officer’s sworn statement entitled a “DS 367.” With no Fifth Amendment right at the hearing, your San Diego DUI / DMV attorney usually will not want you to be present at the hearing since the Driver Safety Officer can call you as a witness and force you to testify against yourself if you ill-advisedly appear.
A San Diego DUI lawyer’s defenses at an APS hearing are specialized and technical, more so than in criminal court. Frequent San Diego DUI / DMV proof problems – as well as legal, procedural and bureaucratic obstacles – are possible grounds for winning.
The San Diego DMV Driver Safety Officer’s decision will usually be mailed a few days or even weeks after the hearing. A San Diego DMV / DMV suspension can be set aside or sustained. If the San Diego DMV suspension is sustained, the decision can be appealed to the DMV in Sacramento and/or to the San Diego Superior court by filing a San Diego DMV petition for writ of mandamus.