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Appealing the DMV Administrative Decision in California


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11/17/2008
Anders Johnson
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The general belief is that the DMV process is a waste of time, and that no one can win their administrative hearing and get their license back.  Sometimes that's true.  If you lose your hearing, you can appeal the decision.  In California, there are two ways to appeal.

The first way to appeal is to appeal directly for an administrative review of the decision of the hearing officer.  The office that reviews the decision is the DMV itself in Sacramento, California, with a nonlawyer DMV employee.  The request for a review must be made within 15 days of the decsion, and be accompanied by a fee of $125.  The chances of success?  Slim.

The second way to appeal is to file a Writ of Mandate in your local county Superior Court.  The Attorney General's office represents the DMV, and a judge reviews the Writ.  Your chances of success are much better, and if you can show a likelihood of success on the merits, and that you are not a danger to the community, you may get your license suspension stayed.

Perhaps this seems like a hassle to the first time DUI offender.  But it may not be.  And for those who are facing more serious suspensions, it is necessary.



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