Why does the DMV suspend a driver license for a Fatal Accident?
The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) continually monitors the driving behavior or all people driving within the State to ensure public safety. If the department determines that any person’s driving history indicates a pattern of negligent or dangerous driving, the department will take that person off the road in an attempt to prevent a tragedy from occurring.
In today’s hustle and bustle world of endless commutes and bumper to bumper traffic, the unfortunate truth is that traffic collisions will occur and in some instances, people will lose their lives. It is awful to say, but driving has the potential for catastrophic consequences, especially if a person is driving negligently.
Any time the DMV receives information that a traffic collision has resulted in the fatal injury of another person, the department will seek to assign blame to the appropriate party. If the DMV determines that any driver has caused or contributed to a fatal traffic collision, the department will seek to penalize that driver through the suspension/revocation of their driving privilege.
The standard of proof is very, very low. The DMV only need to determine that a driver “caused or contributed to” a fatal accident. In other words, you don’t have to be the primary reason an accident occurred to lose your license. If you did something that contributed to the accident, you can be held accountable.
What can I do to protect my license from being suspended for a fatal accident?
In almost all instances, a driver will learn that the DMV is suspending/revoking their driving privilege when they receive an “Order of Suspension/Revocation” in the mail. If you have received such an order in the mail, this is a clear indicator that the DMV intends to take you off the road. There is no ambiguity here; the department is not warning you…. they are telling you that an action has begun to remove you from the road.
If the DMV is successful in suspending or revoking your driving privilege for a fatal accident, the action is for an “indeterminate” period of time. This essentially means that the department will keep you off the road forever, or until they are ready to reconsider the matter. Current DMV protocol calls for a minimum of one-year before the department will reconsider your privilege to drive.
The secret to protecting your driving privilege is to react quickly and correctly. Telephone the DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates (CDA) immediately after receiving your notice from the DMV. There are critical time elements in play that dictate quick action on your part; otherwise you will lose your privilege to drive by default. Don’t let the DMV steal your driver license without a fight. At CDA, our team approach to DMV Defense has been protecting the driving privilege of California drivers for many years.
Once you have engaged our services to represent you, we initiate a structured and progressive process to protect your driving privilege. The steps to success will include:
- Immediate contact with the Driver Safety Office near your home to schedule a Negligent Operator Hearing.
- Immediately request a “Stay of Suspension/Revocation.” In many instances these serious cases can take several months to conclude. If you qualify, a Stay of Suspension/Revocation will stop that action until the outcome of the hearing.
- File a formal “Request for Discovery” which compels the DMV to release any and all information/evidence it intends to use to establish its case.
- Completely investigate the allegation against you. Every detail of a traffic collision can be vital to our success at a hearing. Our team of former police officers, former DMV Hearing Officers, Investigators and scientists are ready to work for you.
- Collection of evidence that establishes your knowledge, skill and physical/mental fitness to drive. Collection of evidence that tends to establish you were not distracted while driving and that your vehicle was properly maintained.
- Prepare for the hearing. We compile all of the evidence collected during our investigation and present it to the DMV in an appropriate format so that it will be accepted without objection. This is where we also prepare you to testify at your hearing.
- Conduct the hearing. Properly run, a Negligent Operator Hearing looks much like a mini-trial. Evidence is introduced and legal arguments are made. Witnesses and police officers may testify and experts may render professional opinions.
- Follow through. Once the Negligent Operator Hearing has concluded, we remain at your side to bring the process to a final conclusion.