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February 2021 Update: Santa Cruz Courts, DUI, DMV, and COVID-19

 Posted on February 04,2021 in DUI

Santa Cruz, CA criminal defense attorney DUI

It has now been nearly a year since COVID-19 has entered the picture, and it has brought havoc to the criminal and traffic courts and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) along with the rest of our society. On a good note, the driving under the influence (DUI) programs (often required for a defendant to take to alleviate a license suspension or as a condition of probation) are up and running. They are also proceeding by way of Zoom or similar remote appearance technology. This is quite helpful; in the early months of COVID, the programs were closed, and this caused major problems for some people trying to regain their driving privileges. 

DMV has rolled forward with their hearings and insists that they be done by way of telephone. As for how this works when cross-examining an arresting officer? Showing a video to the DMV hearing officer? Other avenues to get one’s point across in a hearing? It does not work well at all. DMV does not seem to care much about these hurdles, and they continue to roll forward with their hearing procedures. 

As for court, things have slowed down. Upon arrest, a person used to be given a court date about a month out. That period is currently two to three months. If it is a DUI drug case, that period is often over six months out. 

When charged with a DUI, one needs to pay attention to both the court process and the DMV process. REMINDER: Call DMV within 10 days of your arrest to request a DMV hearing; otherwise, in most cases, you will be automatically suspended. These are two different processes, both of which can lead to a license suspension. Managed insightfully, license suspensions can be minimized. Done without insight into the process, suspensions can in effect be much longer than otherwise necessary. 

It should not be this complicated. Our laws should be much simpler. They are not. The effects of COVID-19 have increased the confusion. It pays to consult with an experienced DUI attorney, even if it is just a free consultation to understand the charges against you.  

Contact Our Santa Cruz, CA DUI Defense Lawyer

Drunk driving charges can have a significant impact on your life, often affecting your driving privileges and in some cases, your future employment opportunities. John W. Thornton, Attorney at Law, has extensive experience in defending clients throughout Santa Cruz County for over 30 years, including more than a thousand DUI cases. Call our tenacious and trusted Santa Cruz, CA DUI defense attorney today at 831-426-5800 to arrange your free consultation.  



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