Case History: California Drivers Advocates was engaged to a represent a client who was being accused of cheating during a written test while applying for a California Driver License.
Our 45 year old Client recently retired after a 25 year career in the United States Army. In her years serving our country, she had been licensed to drive in four countries and six different states. Each time she was licensed, she successfully passed a written test. That, combined with a clean driving record, clearly demonstrated she possessed the skill and the knowledge to drive.
In January 2017, our Client had moved to California after accepting a job with a defense contractor who required that she possess a valid California driver license.
After a few weeks of study, our Client entered the DMV field office in Barstow to relinquish her previous state’s license and to take the test for a new California driver license. When she entered the field office, she made the mistake of taking her study materials with her. Previous experience with the DMV told her that she would be sitting for period of time while she waited for testing and she wanted to use that time to continue studying for her test.
After entering the DMV Field Office, our Client checked-in, filled out an application, paid a fee and had her photo taken. She then took a seat and studied the material while she waited to be called. When she was called for testing, she entered the testing area and placed the study material (contained in a manila folder) on the desk near the computer. She signed onto the computer and began testing.
During the testing sequence, our Client never touched the study material and never referred to it for assistance. She had completed nearly 50% of the test when a DMV employee, standing behind a counter, asked her for the folder that was on the desk. Our Client handed the folder to the employee and then resumed the test. She completed the test and received a passing score.
When our Client went to the counter to report her completion, she was told she had been disqualified for cheating on the test and would be contacted by the department in a few weeks to update her on the next steps. Ten days later, our Client received an “Order of Suspension/Revocation” in the mail that withdrew her privilege to drive for an indeterminate period of time because she had been involved in Fraudulent Activity.
DMV’s Position: The California DMV’s position was crystal clear. If a driver is involved in fraudulent activity while applying for a driver license or the renewal of an existing driver license, the DMV will act immediately to refuse or revoke the driving privilege.
It is the DMV’s position that a person who cheats during a written examination must not possess the requisite skills to drive, and therefore it is too dangerous to allow an unqualified driver to operate a motor vehicle.
The California Vehicle Code determines that a person who commits an act of fraud shall have the privilege to drive withdrawn or denied for an indeterminate period of time. Going into this, the DMV’s focus was to revoke our client’s entire driving privilege for a minimum of one year with no regard for the consequences to her, her reputation or her job.
Our Defense: The result of a license revocation for our client would have been shear devastation. She had just retired from the Army and had just relocated to California. She left her husband and children in her previous state of residence until she could afford to move them. The loss of her license would have meant the termination of her new job and financial ruin.
California Drivers Advocates constructed a defense around the reality of who our client was and what had actually occurred. At the age of 45, our Client had been driving for more than 25 years and had been licensed in numerous countries and states in the US.
It was abundantly clear that our client had not been cheating on her test. Although she was in possession of study material during the testing sequence, she did not use that material to assist her in passing the test. While our client clearly made a poor choice in entering the testing area with her study materials in hand, she did not use the material in any way and therefore, did not violate the law.
We took the time to completely prepare our Client for testimony and so at her hearing, she testified with a great deal of credibility and clarity. She made it abundantly clear she had not cheated. Cheating is not in her nature.
Outcome: At the conclusion of the Fraudulent Activity Hearing, the DMV Hearing Officer took the matter under submission. Two days later, we received the Hearing Officer’s decision in the mail. He had completely “Set Aside” the allegation and cleared our Client to resume the application process.
Our Client returned to the Barstow DMV Field Office and passed her written test with a score of 100%. She is now a perfectly legal California driver.
Call CDA Today. Let Us Go to Work on Your Case.
The DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates have been fighting and winning DMV administrative hearings for years. We excel at every type of administrative hearing handled by the DMV, including the Fraudulent Activity Hearing. More importantly, we have a history of winning. Call us and let us get you back on the road.