July 10, 2009, Newsletter Issue #174: The Burden of Proof?

Tip of the Week

Many people question the right of states such as California to give administrative license suspension to a driver who has not been convicted in a court of law. Driver's license suspension, so the argument goes, is basically assuming guilt, which is contrary to the Constitution.

You may be tempted to use this argument as part of your drunk driving defense, but a good lawyer will advise against it. The reason? The operation of a motor vehicle is considered in the eyes of the law to be a privilege, not a right. A driver license suspension is a revocation of privileges rather than an assumption of guilt.

If you encounter a lawyer who wants you to take the defense that you were found guilty before going to trial, get a second opinion from a different lawyer. Don't assume that because your lawyer suggests this course of action that it is defensible in court. It isn't.

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