When a CA driver has reached four negligent operator treatment system (NOTS) points within 12 months or one year, the DMV will issue an Order of Suspension/Probation. However, the driver, at this point, is only a “prima facie” negligent operator.
If they request a DMV NOTS hearing within ten days of the department’s mailing, the DMV must schedule a time to view the driver’s motor vehicle driving record (MVR).
A driver who receives notice from the DMV should immediately request a DMV NOTS hearing and then request a copy of their driving record. When there are misfiled convictions or collision reports in your MVR, such as the wrong John Smith or Jose Gonzalez, contact the DMV to get it removed.
However, if everything is yours, schedule an appointment with a traffic attorney to review your MVR. Although you are not required to have an attorney for the hearing, our firm has defended hundreds of drivers on DMV Hearings to keep them on the road when they have too many points.
What Is a Prima Facie Negligent Operator?
According to CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 12810, Issuance and Renewal of Licenses, the DMV is authorized to assess two NOTS points for major infractions, misdemeanor, and felony convictions in a motor vehicle.
Likewise, they must assess one NOTS point for a minor infraction or any collision they are determined to be greater than zero percent responsible for by an investigator.
Therefore, if the driver accumulates more than four NOTS points in one year, six within two, or eight within three years, they are determined to be a prima facie negligent operator.
“Prima facie is Latin for ‘at first sight.’ Prima facie may be used as an adjective meaning ‘sufficient to establish a fact or raise a presumption unless disproved or rebutted.’”—Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute (LII) WEX Page.
Therefore, the driver is considered a negligent operator unless or until they request a DMV NOTS hearing, and points are removed from their MVR. If no points are removed, or they do not request a review, the DMV’s suspension/probation goes into effect 34 days after the Order of Suspension is mailed.
Can a DMV NOTS Hearing Postpone a Suspension/Probation?
Yes, if the driver timely requests a DMV NOTS hearing, but it can’t be scheduled or completed before the 34 days are up, the panel must order a “stay” to the Order of Suspension/Probation. It’s much the same as “innocent until proven guilty.”
Which Convictions, Paid Fines, or Collisions Can Be Removed?
It would be impossible to name which could be removed, but one could be thrown out if a traffic code changed since you paid a fine or were convicted. That’s why it’s crucial to have an attorney review your MVR.
Contact Bigger & Harman About a DMV NOTS Hearing in Fresno
When you need help with a DMV NOTS hearing in Fresno County, contact the Central Valley Traffic Defense Team of Bigger & Harman, APC. Give us a call at (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
The CA.DMC.Gov NOTS Hearing Portal
Cornell Law School LII WEX Definition—Prima Facie.
CVC Section 12810, Issuance and Renewal of Licenses