Whether you’re a law school graduate taking the bar exam, an investment professional taking the Series 7, a high school student taking the SAT or ACT for your college applications or an individual taking the written exam required for your driver’s license, you know the stress and pressure of needing to perform on a written test. Unfortunately, that pressure can sometimes cause some people to seek a “leg up” through improper means, such as cheating. And that fact also unfortunately means that the DMV, in its effort to root out cheating, may sometimes identify certain examinees as cheaters when they really weren’t. The consequences of an assertion by the DMV that you cheated on a written driver’s exam can be very serious in California, so if the DMV had made such a claim you should take it seriously and engage in all the necessary steps to protect yourself, including contacting a skilled San Francisco DMV defense attorney.
A person can engage in what California calls “fraudulent activity” in a written DMV test in several ways. One way is to sit for the test and to cheat (by actions such as using a “cheat sheet”) during the completion of the exam. Another way is to have someone pretend to be you and take the exam in your place. These actions aren’t just against DMV rules, they are a violation of California law. If a person is found guilty of having violated this statute, the state can prosecute the violation as a misdemeanor crime, which means that the violator could possibly face a fine or even jail time.
Certainly, most people aren’t going to jail for allegedly cheating on their written driving tests. However, the consequences are still very serious. Perhaps the DMV required you to come in to take (and pass) a written test in order to complete the re-examination process and avoid a lack-of-skill suspension. An allegation of cheating will result in an automatic declaration that you failed the test, which means that you will lose your license and that the suspension will be in place for 12 months.
Fortunately, the law gives you certain rights, so you have options if the DMV takes your license of the basis of your alleged fraudulent activity. As with many types of actions involving the DMV, it’s very important to be sure you are taking action quickly. Once you receive notice that the DMV has suspended your license for fraudulent activity, you only have 14 days to schedule a hearing.
The hearing that will ensue if you’ve acted in a timely fashion will be a complete evidentiary hearing – a mini-trial, in essence. You will have the opportunity to put on evidence of your own and to debunk the DMV’s evidence. You will have the chance to testify in your defense and to cross-examine the DMV employee who allegedly caught you cheating. This hearing will allow you demonstrate that the employee misconstrued or misinterpreted your behavior and that no cheating actually occurred.
Being accused of cheating on a written driving test in California can be serious, carrying a loss of driving privileges for a year or more in addition to possible criminal penalties. If you’ve been accused of fraudulent activity on your written driving test, reach out to the Uthman Law Office. Our San Francisco DMV defense professionals have the experience you need to help defend your integrity and your driving privileges. Attorney David Uthman has over 20 years of experience as a litigation attorney and almost a decade of experience as a police officer. We know the law and we know what it takes to get results. Call us today at (415) 556-9200 to schedule your FREE initial consultation.
More blog posts:
How Road Rage Has the Potential to Negatively Impact Your California Driver’s License, San Francisco Criminal Lawyer Blog, Nov. 14, 2018
What is a ‘Lack of Skill’ Driver’s License Suspension in California and What Can I Do to Avoid It?, San Francisco Criminal Lawyer Blog, Oct. 19, 2018