Multiple driving offenses can add up to a driver's license suspension... but that doesn't mean you can't fight it and win.
Being declared a negligent operator means that the California DMV has information that you have collected a certain amount of "violation points" due to driving-related convictions within a certain amount of time. Non-criminal convictions (such as speeding) usually amount a single point. Criminal convictions (such as DUI or reckless driving) usually amount to two points. See this list of the points allocated to specific offenses published by DMV.
The DMV will automatically declare you a negligent operator if you accrue:
- 4 points within any 12 month period,
- 6 points within any 24 month period, or
- 8 points within any 36 month period.
If the DMV declares you are a negligent operator as described, it will mail you a document entitled "Order of Probation and Suspension" that includes the date on which the DMV will impose a six month suspension on your license as a consequence. Usually, this happens a month later. However, before the suspension can go into effect, you have a right to challenge it at a negligent operator hearing.
Our Los Angeles DUI Lawyers emphasize that you must reserve your right to this hearing within fourteen days of the date of the "Order."
At the hearing, it will be your burden (or the burden of the attorney representing you) to demonstrate that the DMV's record of your convictions is inaccurate... or that "mitigating circumstances" related to the relevant driving convictions justify sparing you from the full penalty of suspension.
A wide variety of circumstances could be "mitigating" in a given case. Where the relevant convictions are minor and do not involve alcohol in any way, drivers stand a better chance of prevailing. Whatever the case, our Los Angeles DUI Lawyers emphasize that negligent operator hearings are sensitive and important matters best conducted in consultation with an experienced attorney.