The Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) licenses and regulates automotive repair dealers and technicians. The BAR’s Enforcement Division accepts customer complaints, conducts investigations, and disciplines registered auto repair dealers, smog check stations, and technicians who fail to comply with the Automotive Repair Act or its regulations. However, often the BAR’s Enforcement Division and their legal representatives, the California Office of the Attorney General, erroneously accuse a technician or auto repair business of a violation that was never committed. We have also seen that they improperly try to enforce a discipline that is too harsh and inappropriate based on circumstances. The Paronyan Law Firm is your Automotive Defense Attorney in Los Angeles that will aggressively fight to defend you from all excessive and false allegations, prevent inappropriate discipline, and protect your license from revocation or another improper discipline.
If you are issued a Citation, and you fail to defend yourself effectively, the consequences do not just end with the enforcement of the Citation’s fines and penalties. Once a Citation is finalized, the BAR will have the discretion to invalidate your smog station’s STAR certification. If you don’t fight the appeal of your Citation properly, the penalties will continue to affect your ability to inspect STAR Program directed vehicles. The knowledgeable and experienced professionals at the Paronyan Law Firm will represent you as your automotive defense attorney and fight to eliminate or reduce your Citation and save your STAR Certification from invalidation.
The Bureau of Automotive Repair will usually seek the harshest discipline for all cases, especially Accusations. The discipline sought is often a complete revocation of all licenses and termination of business operations. However, when the BAR and the Attorney General’s office attempts to misapply and exploit regulations, such as the Automotive Repair Act, to obtain a harsh and unfair discipline, the Paronyan Law Firm will emphasize the rules and laws which are will support the defenses of your case. Of course, the BAR will only consider these defenses if they are properly presented with legal references.
When facing allegations by the BAR, we understand that honest mistakes happen as a working technician or business owner. Sometimes, it’s difficult or even impossible to follow every rule and regulation. Things out of your control can happen. For example, the equipment can malfunction, or the customer could have made a mistake and provided incorrect information. In the auto repair and smog business, the possibilities are limitless for how an honest mistake can cause a violation that results in a BAR Accusation or Citation. The Paronyan Law Firm is here to defend you, the technician or business owner, against exaggerated accusations and unfair discipline by arguing the facts and applying the correct laws, especially the laws that provide protection.
There are deadlines to filing a Notice of Defense for an Accusation or an Appeal either for a Citation or a STAR Invalidation. Furthermore, after filing a defense or appeal, the discovery process is initiated with the BAR and the Deputy Attorney General handling the case. One of the most critical parts of a strong defense is gathering decisive evidence. However, the process of gathering the evidence requires a knowledgeable attorney to submit the appropriate discovery requests and responses to obtain the evidence. The BAR will not just hand you the evidence that will win your case for you. Here at the Paronyan Law Firm, we are experienced at gathering the information needed by submitting the right discovery requests and using that information to obtain the outcomes our clients want.
For Bureau of Automotive Repair Accusations, the deadline to file a Notice of Defense is 15 days. Failure to timely file a Notice of Defense will put your case into default. Your licenses will be at significant risk of revocation because you have ultimately waived your right to a defense at a hearing.
For Bureau of Automotive Repair Citations, the deadline to file a Notice of Appeal is 30 days. Failure to timely file a Notice of Appeal will likely result in the finalization of fines, penalties, and issuance of other disciplines that was ordered in the Citation without a defense or hearing.
For Bureau of Automotive Repair Star Invalidations, the deadline to file a Notice of Appeal is 15 days. Failure to timely file a Notice of Appeal will likely result in the indefinite invalidation and deactivation of your STAR certification capabilities.
When you hire the Paronyan Law Firm as your Bureau of Automotive Repair Defense Attorney in Los Angeles, we will aggressively represent your defenses through resolution. We will make sure not just to meet all deadlines, but also take the appropriate action at the time. You can feel confident that your case will be handled professionally by an attorney experienced in dealing with the BAR. We will continuously keep you updated throughout the defense process, which is explained below.
Our staff will investigate to gather as much evidence as possible to support the defenses of your case. Each Bureau of Automotive Repair case is different with its own set of facts and allegations which should be approached uniquely. For that reason, here at the Paronyan Law Firm, we have a method of analysis in which we inspect and report details because even minor details could be helpful. Ultimately, it’s essential to have a strong understanding of the allegations to know what to look for when preparing defenses. After all, information which supports your defenses and opposes the BAR’s allegations will likely have been disregarded by the BAR or never brought to their attention. The Paronyan Law Firm will assist in the investigation and gathering of evidence that supports your case’s defenses.
In addition to providing timely responses to the Bureau of Automotive Repair requests, your automotive defense attorney will likewise request documents and information important to the defenses of your case. We will reveal what information the BAR has failed to provide as well as the evidence they plan to use at trial. We will analyze the information for errors, inconsistencies, and mitigating factors.
Factors of mitigation include, but are not limited to, evidence of measures taken to correct business practices so as to minimize the likelihood of recurrence of the alleged violation, evidence that the allegation was not part of a pattern or practice, and evidence of no loss to consumer and no damage to consumer’s property. We may also prove with newly discovered evidence that the allegations did not in fact occur as stated or the extent to which the allegations are described in the Accusation is exaggerated.
Using evidence gathered from both sides, the Paronyan Law Firm will scrutinize each of the BAR’s allegations, one by one. Once doubts and weaknesses are exposed, the BAR will be more willing to dismiss or reduce alleged violations rather than spend more time and resources on an uncertain hearing.
If the incident was an unintentional first-time mistake or the allegations are entirely speculative, the Paronyan Law Firm will compellingly argue your defenses, making it clear that there is no justification for the discipline.
Your BAR defense lawyer will represent you at prehearing and settlement conferences. The prehearing conference, like a pretrial conference in a civil matter, is held to identify and define factual and legal issues and to expedite the hearing. The conference may concern one or more of the following: an exploration of settlement possibilities, clarification of issues, rulings on the identity and number of witnesses, objections to offers of evidence, motions for intervention, and other matters that will promote the orderly and timely conduct of the hearing.
Settlement conferences are authorized by law and may be ordered by the administrative law judge. Communications made in settlement negotiations are protected. If settlement is not entered, then the case will move on to a formal hearing in front an administrative law judge of the Office of Administrative Hearings. Your lawyer from the Paronyan Law Firm will be fully prepared to represent you at the hearing with the necessary exhibits, expert witnesses, trial briefs, special arrangements and more.
During the hearing, the rules of evidence are administrative rules, neither purely criminal nor purely civil. Without a statute making it applicable, the California Evidence Code does not apply to administrative proceedings. Although administrative proceedings may be punitive, they are not criminal in nature and need not be conducted in accordance with the rules of procedure or evidence employed in criminal courts. Thus, relevant evidence will be admitted if it is the kind of evidence on which responsible people are accustomed to relying in the conduct of serious affairs. Accordingly, although administrative rules of evidence are not strict, parties to an administrative proceeding have a due process right to a fair hearing, which includes the right to present issues of fact and law in a deliberate, regular, and orderly manner.
Your automotive defense attorney will present your defenses and conduct the hearing by establishing a proper foundation for exhibits in order to support reliability and relevancy. Appropriate objections will also be made, such the objection that there was an assumption of facts not in evidence, misstatements of evidence, or confusing, misleading, ambiguous, vague, speculative, compound, or argumentative questions. Narrative and leading questions are also objectionable. The failure to make a timely objection to the admission of evidence or a motion to strike and the failure to give grounds for the objection or motion clearly can constitute a waiver of the right to complain about the erroneous admission of evidence. This applies even if the party failing to object is unrepresented.
Don’t find yourself allowing improper evidence into your administrative hearing because you represented yourself or retained unknowledgeable counsel. The Paronyan Law Firm will protect your rights in a fair hearing.