What is an Order of Suspension/Revocation from the California DMV?
Without question, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is one of the most powerful government agencies in the State of California. This agency has the ability to adversely affect a person’s freedom of movement and ability to earn a living with little or no warning by suspending or revoking that person’s privilege to drive motor vehicles.
If you have received an Order of Suspension/Revocation from the California DMV, the department has just alerted you they have begun the process to take you off the road. Let’s be perfectly clear here—the Order of Suspension is not a warning that the MAY take an action against you. The Order of Suspension/Revocation means the process has already begun and your license will be suspended or revoked.
The Order of Suspension/Revocation will document the reason for the action, the Vehicle Code Section that permits the DMV to take the action and the effective date of the suspension/revocation. Make no mistake; an Order of Suspension/Revocation means the DMV has found cause to take you off the road and YOU MUST STOP DRIVING on the effective date listed on the order.
Why does the DMV send an Order of Suspension/Revocation to a Driver?
When any person holds a driver license in the State of California they are forever under the watchful eye of the California DMV. The DMV monitors all drivers to ensure they maintain the knowledge, the skill and the physical/mental ability to safely drive. If the department receives information, from any source, that a driver may not possess the fitness to drive; it will either initiate an investigation [also known as a re-examination] or it will move to direct suspension of the driver license.
Here is a list of reasons the DMV will move directly to Suspend or Revoke a person’s driver license without the benefit of a re-examination:
What happens now that an Order of Suspension/Revocation has been issued?
You’ve just opened an envelope addressed from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to find an “Order of Suspension/Revocation.” After the initial shock has worn off, it is time to make a plan for reacting to the order.
The four most critical pieces of information provided by the Order of Suspension/Revocation are:
In all but a few instances, a person who has received an Order of Suspension/Revocation is entitled to an Administrative Hearing to reverse the order. To schedule an administrative hearing, the accused driver must contact the appropriate Driver Safety Office that has jurisdiction over the matter. Contact must be made within 14 days (10 days if the order was handed to you by a DMV employee), to schedule the hearing. In some instances the department may be willing to “Stay” (which means to stop) the suspension until the hearing can be concluded, but in many cases a Stay is not possible and you must terminate driving as of the effective date of the Order of Suspension/Revocation.
Driving after your privilege has been suspended is unlawful and may result in your arrest and prosecution in the Superior Court. Driving on a suspended license may also result in the impounding of your vehicle and may cause the DMV to make a determination that you are a Negligent Operator.
How can I Fight the Suspension/Revocation of my Driver License?
Now that you have received an Order of Suspension/Revocation in the mail, there are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself:
California law makes it expressly clear that all drivers have the right to advocate for themselves at a DMV administrative hearing, so you need not hire anyone to represent you. Administrative Hearings at the DMV, however, can be complicated and confusing and the employees of the DMV will do little or nothing to assist you in defending yourself. Consequently, an accused driver must become familiar with DMV procedure, the Administrative Procedures Act, the California Code of Civil Procedures, the Evidence Code and the Vehicle Code in a very short period of time. This can be quite frustrating but many drivers choose to represent themselves.
On the other hand, California law also permits an accused driver to be represented by an Administrative Advocate. These professionals are true DMV Defense Experts with years of experience and specialized training in dealing with the DMV. Although you have the freedom to defend yourself, representation by an Administrative Advocate can greatly increase your likelihood of prevailing at an administrative hearing. If you would like more information on representation by an Administrative Advocate can assist you in fighting to protect your driving privilege.