How to win a Financial Responsibility Hearing at the DMV

Can I win a Financial Responsibility Hearing at the DMV?  California’s Compulsory Insurance Laws were created with the specific legislative intent that any person who owns or operates a motor vehicle on California’s roadway maintain the financial ability to compensate others for damages, injuries or death that occur as a result of automobile accidents. California’s Financial Responsibility Laws are laid out in sections 16000 through 16078 of the California Vehicle Code.

These sections of the Vehicle Code place no emphasis on who was at fault in a traffic collision. Even if you are sitting at a stop light and are rear-ended by another driver, your driver license may still be suspended if you do not have proper insurance for your car. Even though you are completely innocent in the traffic collision, you are not absolved from the obligation to maintain Financial Responsibility.

If the DMV concludes that you were involved in a “reportable” traffic collision and that you did not have proof of Financial Responsibility, the Legislature has mandated that your driver license must be suspended or revoked for a period of one year. The only path to reversing this action is for the accused driver to schedule, conduct and win a Financial Responsibility Hearing at their local Driver Safety Office.

Without question, a Financial Responsibility Hearing CAN BE WON!! To win such a hearing requires that you respond immediately to correctly request a hearing. The path to victory then requires comprehensive planning and a dynamic and thoughtful presentation. The DMV is only required to prove the following:

  • That the accused driver was involved in a reportable traffic accident where:
  • Someone suffered an injury (however slight);
  • Someone was killed; or,
  • Property damage to any vehicle or other proper exceeds $750.
  • That the accused driver did not have proper auto insurance or any other form of Financial Responsibility in affect at the time of the accident.

That’s it………………… that is all the DMV is required to prove in order to suspend a person’s driving privilege. Despite this very low standard of proof, a Financial Responsibility Hearing can be won provided that a dynamic defense in presented by a DMV Defense Expert. Law School does nothing to instruct students in the proper handling of this type of matter and very few attorneys have the experience necessary to win a Financial Responsibility Hearing.   Training and experience in this specialized field only comes from years of actually conducting the hearings. There is no school to attend, you simply must get into the trenches and learn through experience.

If you have any hope of winning your Financial Responsibility Hearing, you simply must be represented by a DMV Defense Expert who has handled this type of work. Call the DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates (CDA) and put us on your team. We have been in the trenches, fighting with the DMV for years to prevent the suspension of our clients’ driving privilege. We defend California drivers throughout the state in every type of Administrative Hearing conducted by the DMV. Some of our most celebrated victories have been Financial Responsibility Hearings. If the DMV is moving to suspend your driver license for Financial Responsibility, the clock is ticking. Act today to protect your driving freedom. Call CDA, we’re ready to help you.

How to win a Financial Responsibility Hearing.  If it is properly conducted, the Financial Responsibility Hearing is run like a “mini-trial.” This is a full-blown legal proceeding where evidence is introduced and considered, witnesses may testify and legal arguments are presented. The hearing is run in strict accordance with California Administrative Law and the California Code of Civil Procedure. These hearings can be difficult to understand and are often quite frustrating. It is highly unlikely that the average driver will possess the skill set or experience to defend themselves appropriately at such a hearing. Fortunately, California Law does permit an accused driver to be represented by any person of their choosing. The most important “first step” toward winning your Financial Responsibility Hearing is to select a representative who has the knowledge and experience to attack your case.

To win your Financial Responsibility Hearing, your representative must completely understand the DMV’s burden of proof, must know the case law and statues that govern this action, and must be willing to devote the time and energy necessary to prepare the case. If an accused driver steps into a Financial Responsibility Hearing by themselves or with a poorly prepared representative, the outcome is tenuous. Many times the DMV does not possess anything more than a mere suspicion that a person has violated the Financial Responsibility Laws.   In this case, the DMV Hearing will attempt to solidify their case by getting the driver to make harmful statements against their own interest. This should never happen.

In presenting their case, the DMV will often review traffic collision reports, witness statements, insurance statements, medical records and auto repair estimates to build a case for Financial Responsibility. In some instances, the DMV may subpoena a police officer or other persons for testimony.

The single word that best describes what it takes to win a Financial Responsibility Hearing is “Preparation.” Your DMV Defense Expert must be thorough in his approach, investigation and assessment of the evidence. He or she must be willing to think “outside the box” and come up with fresh and comprehensive arguments that hit on every aspect of your defense.

The DMV Defense Experts from California Drivers Advocates employ a 4-step process to winning a Financial Responsibility Hearing:

  • A thorough investigation of the matter. This includes the collection and evaluation of all evidence the DMV intends to present.
  • A through preparation of the case. This includes the discovery, evaluation and preparation of “affirmative evidence.” This is evidence which tends to prove your innocence or takes advantage of weaknesses in the DMV’s case.
  • A thorough and comprehensive presentation at your hearing. This includes specific objections to the DMV’s evidence. It includes the proper introduction and authentication of all “affirmative evidence” and may also include the cross examination of the DMV’s witnesses and/or direct examination of your own witnesses.
  • Follow- Once the hearing concludes, our work has not ended. We continue to follow up with our client’s and the DMV to ensure our clients continued privilege to drive.

By remaining true to our core values and by following this step by step approach to defense, we have won hundreds of DMV administrative hearings in every Driver Safety Office in the State of California. Attention to detail and a devotion to hard work make the difference.

If you must win your Financial Responsibility Hearing, call the DMV Defense Experts at CDA.

If the DMV has begun the process to suspend your driver license because of an issue of Financial Responsibility, it is likely that you’re deeply concerned about what lay ahead. You have good reason for concern as the DMV is the ultimate government bureaucracy that cares little for your future. The only path to keeping your driving privilege intact is through a comprehensive and proactive defense.

The DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates are exclusively focused on defending drivers at DMV administrative hearings. Financial Responsibility Hearings can be won. Your driving privilege can be saved, but you must approach the DMV in a proper manner. Call CDA today. We are ready to step into your case immediately and put you on the path to protecting your driving future.

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More about Financial Responsibility Hearings at the California DMV

By | 2017-05-07T05:03:55+00:00 January 21st, 2016|Financial Responsibility, Winning DMV Hearings|0 Comments

About the Author:

Rob Collier
Mr. Collier served with distinction as a Law Enforcement Specialist with the United States Air Force and received an honorable discharge. He is a graduate of the United States Air Force Security Police Academy and the United States Army Police Investigators School. While stationed at Edwards Air Force Base, Mr. Collier was one of the first Security Police Specialists to provide “close‐in” security for Space Shuttle Missions when that program was new. Mr. Collier is a Distinguished Graduate of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Academy (Class 228) and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Special Weapons and Tactics School (SWAT). He received specialized training in basic accident investigation and determining speed from skids at the San Bernardino Sheriff Academy. For nearly 15 years, Mr. Collier was the Operations Officer for one of the most prominent specialty DUI law firms in the country. Reporting directly to that firm’s owner, Mr. Collier directed the day to day operations of DUI attorneys, investigators, expert witnesses and support staff. He developed the firm’s “white glove” policy of client care that is now the hallmark of our company. He has been involved in the preparation, investigation, and presentation of literally thousands of DMV administrative hearings throughout Southern California. Receiving hands on training from defense attorneys, retired DMV hearing officers, and some of the best scientific experts in the field, Mr. Collier possesses a unique level of experience; making him a true expert in the field of Administrative Advocacy. Mr. Collier is our Chief Advocate and available to represent clients in all categories of DMV hearings in California. If your case is assigned to one of our other professional advocates, Mr. Collier will personally review and supervise each case. He is accessible to each and every one of our clients.