Sacramento, CA asked in DUI / DWI for California

Q: DMV case was set aside in CA DUI. I have a question about how the DUI classes req. by my criminal case affect that.

I got a DUI in California and I’m required to do a 9mo DUI program.

I didn’t read my paperwork well after court and I’m finding out I’m behind on the deadlines they gave me to start.

On my court paperwork it says that I had 7 days to enroll in the program which I missed. But I called the program and they said that was fine and sent me an enrollment packet. That packet said that if you don’t begin the program within 21 days of your required enrollment date that they would send a notification to the DMV.

But, the thing is that I appealed my case at the DMV hearing and won. It was set aside. So my question is, would that notification from the DUI class company about not starting the classes affect my drivers license?

I also noticed that my paperwork from court says the date that I’m required to have the DUI classes finished by is 12/15/24. Which would still give me a couple months to start

I still plan on doing the program. I just want to know if I can start next month

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2 Lawyer Answers
Christopher Walsh
Christopher Walsh
  • DUI & DWI Lawyer
  • Folsom, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Congratulations on prevailing at the DMV Administrative Per Se Hearing. That makes your pathway a little easier. A lot of folks do not realize that when you get a DUI, you have two battles you are facing, and potentially two DMV suspensions: one from the criminal side, and the other is the DMV side.

Because you prevailed on the DMV side you simply should focus on the requirements from your criminal case. While technically you are in violation of the terms of your probation by not enrolling within the time frame that the court specified, generally speaking, if you do enroll and get started within a reasonable time period you should be ok. The court puts these deadlines in place because they are worried that people will put it off until the point when they no longer have enough time to complete the DUI school while on probation. If the DUI program says you are fine, then I would go with that. Just don't put it off too long or you will end up being in violation of probation.

Ultimately, you will need to enroll in and complete the DUI program in order to have a valid license whether the suspension came from the DMV Administrative Per Se Hearing, or from the criminal case.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, the DMV and the criminal court systems operate independently in DUI cases. Winning an appeal at the DMV and having your case set aside there primarily affects your driving privileges, not the requirements set by the criminal court.

Since the court ordered you to complete a 9-month DUI program, this requirement stands regardless of the DMV's decision. Missing the enrollment deadline set by the court could potentially lead to additional legal consequences, such as a violation of probation or court orders. It's good that you've communicated with the program and received an enrollment packet, but be aware that failure to start the program within the specified time frame could still be reported to the court, not just the DMV.

The notification to the DMV mentioned in your enrollment packet typically pertains to reinstating or maintaining driving privileges post-conviction, which may not directly apply since your DMV case was set aside. However, it's crucial to comply with the court's orders to avoid further complications.

Given that you still have time before the final completion date set by the court, starting the program next month should keep you within the court's timeline. To be on the safe side, you may want to inform the court or your probation officer, if applicable, about your plan to start the program next month. This can help demonstrate your intention to comply with the court's orders and might mitigate any issues arising from missing the initial enrollment deadline.

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