Administrative Per-Se Hearing ("APS")
In short, an APS hearing is an administrative hearing (meaning conducted by an admin form of government) where a hearing officer will review evidence, hear arguments, and weigh the totality of the circumstances against the laws which the DMV enforces.
If you have been arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence in California, you are entitled to an APS hearing to determine whether your license should be suspended for a period of time. As explained in extreme depth throughout our site, you only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request an APS hearing or your license will automatically be suspended on the 30th day after your arrest.
It is also important to note that you only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request a "stay of suspension" which if granted will delay the suspension of your license altogether until AFTER your APS hearing.
It is extremely important to all of our clients that we request the Stay of Suspension on their behalf, because there PINK temporary license is only good for 30 days. If the stay of suspension is granted, the PINK temporary license will continue to be valid well after the 30 days it states, and it's power will extend until after the results of the APS hearing are determined.
The Hearing Officer
One element of the APS hearing that works in our favor is that the hearing is conducted by a person known as a "Hearing Officer." This person is neither a lawyer or a judge, and their experience with the criminal system is limited only to these APS hearings. However, hearing officers can be extremely knowledgeable regarding the rules and regulations of a DUI, and particularly crafty in getting arguments on record that would have no chance of being admitted in the court room. The hearing officer also acts as the prosecutor, judge, and jury throughout the APS hearing. The odds are stacked against us in these hearings, and that's why we work closely with former APS hearing officer Mark Moorefield, our DMV Expert, to ensure that we have the upper hand.
Issues for the APS hearing
The purpose of the APS hearing is for the DMV to determine whether any valid "cause" exists to warrant a suspension of your driving privileges. If you submitted to an Implied Consent Test (IE: Blood, Breathe, Urine Test for BAC), then the three (3) issues before the DMV are:
1. Did the peace officer have reasonable cause to believe that you were driving a motor vehicle in violation of California Vehicle Code Sec. 23152, 23153, or 2354..?
2. Were you lawfully arrested..? This issue hinges on whether sufficient grounds existed for your detention after a reasonable and legal stop.
3. Were you driving a motor vehicle when you had .08% or higher BAC level. If driving a commercial vehicle your BAC may not exceed .04%. If on probation your BAC can not exceed .01%.
THe day of the HEARING
Our firm prepares tirelessly for the APS hearing by reviewing the police report, DS-367 form, all Audio & Video Footage, blood and breathe result, calibration of machines used to determine BAC, and the officer service record. We take the time to prepare and review with our clients a DMV Brief, which outlines the strengths and weaknesses of our clients position, and how we intend to argue their case at the hearing. If you are currently researching a firm to represent you in an APS hearing, it is important to find out what that firm does to prepare, what experts they intend to call at the hearing, and whether they attend the hearing or simply do it by telephone.
The hearing takes place at the Department of Safety Offices - a sub office of the DMV. The hearings usually take place with the hearing officer on one side of a desk in a small office, and us on the other. Although the setting may not be glamorous, our goal is to set forth the most effective arguments on your behalf, saving your license in the process. The hearing will likely take anywhere between 10-30 minutes, and a decision will not be made for several days after the hearing. You and your lawyer will likely receive the Findings of Fact (determination of the DMV) on the same day a few weeks after the hearing via USPS mail.
Contact us Immediately to request your aps hearing and stay of suspension.