The first thing you will notice after you are released from jail on a DUI is that you have left jail without your driver’s license. Upon arrest, and upon your release, law enforcement will take your driver’s license from you immediately, and you are given a pink temporary license. That temporary license and the information on it, is critical. Unfortunately, because of shock and the pain of what they have just experienced, most people will put those papers away thinking that they may not need to look at them until they go to court. However, that temporary license instructs you that you must contact the DMV within ten days of a release. If you fail to contact the DMV within ten days, you will automatically lose your license. If it is the first offense, you will lose your license for four months. That is going to be your first taste of reality.
When you are released, you are also issued a notice to appear in court. This will advise you which court to appear in, and the date that you are required to appear. As I indicated, people will just look at that date and ignore the pink temporary license and the ten-day requirement. Therefore, it is critical to look at all the documents when they are given to you. It is crucial to make sure, as soon as you are released, that you sit down and reconstruct the facts that occurred at the time of your arrest. Start a dialog with yourself, from the point that you started the evening, until the very moment that you were released. The reason it is critical to do this, is that memories fade, and often they fade because you do not want to remember the facts.
It is critical for your attorney to see every hour of the time spent between the initial consumption of alcohol, and to that moment when you are released. Often, there are things that you may note that seem irrelevant to you at the time, but may be critical for your attorney to use in your defense.
What Are The Common Mistakes Made In The Initial Days Of A DUI Arrest?
The biggest mistake is to try to put it out of your mind. People will try to deny either what had happened, hoping that it all goes away. You want to address your defense the moment you are released from jail. Not only that, but as I indicated, it is critical you get in contact with the Department of Motor Vehicles so you can protect your license. There are things that you can immediately do that later on may not be available. For example, if you had consumed alcohol at a bar, perhaps returning to that bar to obtain the names of witnesses, and see if the bartender recalls serving you, or recalls what you were served. Anything that will assist you in your defense. At a later time, some of this information may no longer exist, such as videotapes, which may be destroyed after a period of time. These may very well show some critical element of your defense. Therefore, it is critical to take advantage of that potential evidence as soon as possible.
Is Your Physical License Confiscated At This Point?
Yes, your physical license will be taken from you at the time of your arrest. It will not be returned unless you request a hearing, and you are successful at that hearing. If you are successful, then you will get your license returned to you. If you are unsuccessful, then you will not be able to recover your license until either you have completed an alcohol program, or your case has been completed in court, and any requirements that the DMV requests.
Does The Pink Slip Give Someone Permission To Drive A Vehicle?
Yes, the temporary license is for a thirty-day period. That thirty-day period starts from the time that the pink slip has been issued. If you do not request a hearing, then at the end of those thirty days, your license will no longer be valid. However, if you request a hearing, you can simultaneously request that there be a stay placed on the suspension, so that the suspension does not occur automatically at the end of those thirty days.
How Can Someone Request A DMV Hearing?
A DMV hearing can be requested by either the client themselves, or your attorney. I always advise my clients to allow me the opportunity to set up all hearings. The reason for that is there are numerous hearing officers, most of those hearing officers are unreasonable. Some are less unreasonable than others. We are able to set up the hearing with those which are less unreasonable, therefore more likely to be willing to listen to our presentation of evidence.