Do you lose your license immediately after a DUI?

Do you lose your license immediately after a DUI?

Being charged with a DUI or DWI can become a source of tremendous stress. Not only will you likely have to appear in court, but your insurance rates could sharply increase and your driver’s license may be in jeopardy. Losing your driver’s license could impact both your professional and personal lives, and for these reasons, the Ellis Law Los Angeles team takes a focus on helping our clients come to the best possible resolution in DUI and DWI cases. 

Immediate Options 

If you are being charged with a DUI or DWI, several legitimate concerns may arise. For those who commute to work or school, a lack of transportation can mean a severe disruption to your everyday routine. Individuals with jobs that involve a motor vehicle such as truckers, delivery drivers, and taxi operators may even have their livelihood permanently impacted. 

That’s why getting the right legal advice as soon as possible is indispensable to maintaining your standard of living after being charged with a DUI or DWI. When you are arrested on suspicion of operating a vehicle in an unfit condition, the officer on the scene will typically take your license away and give you a DUI citation, which serves as a temporary driving permit that is valid for 10 days. The police may also impound your vehicle for this period. 

This short window is a critical time to prepare your defense in a DUI or DWI case, and one of the expert Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Ellis Law can assist you smoothly navigating this process. Our caring and compassionate legal team can work to seek out delays in the process so you can retain your ability to drive longer as well as expedite any proceedings that limit your ability to drive so the immediate impact of the charges on you and your family is mitigated. 

Arrest vs. Conviction 

For a driver who is found guilty of a DUI or DWI for the first time, a conviction on the charge carries a mandatory suspension of at least 180 days lasting up to 1 year, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that an arrest for DUI or DWI does not necessarily mean a conviction, and there is a range of legal recourse for individuals who want to minimize the worst effects of a charge. 

When you are charged with operating a motor vehicle in an unfit condition, you can gain an extension on your driving time by challenging the suspension. You can file for a formal review hearing within 10 days. It is imperative to pursue the process during this time, otherwise outlined by the arresting officer automatically takes effect and you can only gain the ability to drive again by waiting at least 30 days and completing a substance abuse course. 

By filing for a hearing promptly after you are charged with a DUI or DWI, you may be granted up to 5 weeks of driving privileges to commute to work or school. In the event that you win your formal review hearing, you will have your license reinstated to good standing without limitation. This guidance is what makes a personal injury attorney so valuable for clients who are dealing with charges stemming from a DUI or DWI arrest. 

Unusual Circumstances 

Although most drivers who have been charged with DUI or DWI do not lose their licenses immediately, there are factors which can result in the immediate and indefinite suspension of driving privileges. Failure to take the breath test is a common reason officers use to pursue a case more aggressively and will usually result in your removal from the road. Even worse, if you are later convicted of the charges, the sanctions can be more severe. 

Incidents that result in injury or property damage, whether they are caused by you or not, are aggravating factors in a DUI or DWI case and can result in harsher punishments. A high measured blood alcohol content can also increase the potential penalty. However, Ellis Law specializes in identifying elements of your case that may impact the results of your case, including malfunctioning equipment, and other irregularities in procedure. 

A conviction for DUI or DWI can have lifelong consequences. It is never a good decision to drink and drive, but if you have been arrested on suspicion of these charges, entrusting your fate to an inexperienced legal team could compound an error in judgement. Contact one of the Los Angeles car accident attorneys at Ellis Law today to learn more about your options in a DUI or DWI case.