Case History: California Drivers Advocates was retained to defend a client whose driver license had been automatically suspended by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV took an immediate suspension action against our client’s driving privilege after they received a Confidential Morbidity Report from a Physician’s Assistant who reported that our Client had suffered a Lapse of Consciousness or Control while in her own bed at home.
Our 56 year old client is an avid swimmer and athlete. In March of 2017, she was preparing to compete in a National Swimming Event that she knew would be physically grueling. In preparation for the event she went to her family doctor for a physical examination. She simply wanted a medical opinion that she was healthy enough to withstand the rigors of the competition.
When she arrived for her scheduled appointment, the physician had been called away and so our Client was directed to be examined by a Physician’s Assistant. During the examination, our client made a comment about being awakened by a nightmare with her legs shaking. The Physician’s Assistant did not express any concern, but was clearly alarmed by the comment.
Two weeks later, our Client received an “Order of Suspension/Revocation” in the mail because the Physician’s Assistant reported the event to the Department of Motor Vehicles and stated that our Client experienced an event of “Tremors” and that she was unable to control her extremities. This was not at all what our Client had reported, but it was what the Physician’s Assistant interpreted.
DMV’s Position: The California DMV’s position was crystal clear in matters of this nature. Throughout a person’s driving career, the DMV will monitor any driver to ensure they maintain the Knowledge, the Skill and the Physical/Mental capability of driving. If the DMV receives information from any source; in this case a medical professional, that the driver suffers with a physical or mental condition that can affect safe driving, the department has the option of moving to direct suspension.
Our Defense: When our client retained us, we immediately went to work to schedule her “Lapse of Consciousness” hearing with the Van Nuys Driver Safety Office. Because the DMV had already moved to an immediate suspension, there was no opportunity to request a “Stay of Suspension.”
Our defense began with a detailed interview of the client to determine her complete medical history and the details of what had occurred. We then embarked on a structured and focused path to collect affirmative medical evidence for our case. At our direction, our client met with her Primary Care Doctor (who she was originally scheduled to see), a Neurologist, a Cardiologist, and an Optometrist. It was our goal to present a broad spectrum of valid medical evidence that there were no physical or mental conditions whatsoever that would prevent her from driving. We sought to paint the picture that the Physician’s Assistant simply misinterpreted what had occurred.
The detailed examination by a neurologist revealed that our Client had not suffered any type of seizure and, in fact, she had simply been physically reacting to a nightmare.
At the hearing, the hearing officer accepted all of our affirmative evidence without objection and considered the testimony of our client. Because we had worked so hard to prepare our client, she testified with great emotion and credibility which made our position clear.
Just one week later, we received an Order of Set Aside or Reinstatement that terminated the suspension action and immediately returned our client to full driving privileges.
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The DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates include former police officers, DMV Hearing Officers, Investigators and Scientists. Our training, our experience and our reputation provide any driver the best opportunity to win their Administrative Hearing.
If your driver license has been suspended because you suffer with a physical or mental condition characterized by a Lapse of Consciousness, don’t despair. Don’t let anyone convince you that you are in a hopeless situation. These hearings really can be won.
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