You went out to a bar with your friends. You were supposed to be the designated driver, but you couldn’t help yourself. Now, you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Many people are aware of DUI laws, but the complicated legal process is very unfamiliar to most people. So what happens after you’ve been arrested for DUI in California?
Ask for a DMV Hearing Within 10 Days
DUI cases may seem straightforward, but there are many steps involved in the legal process. First of all, you only have 10 days within the date of your arrest to file for a DMV hearing. If you fail to do so, your license could be suspended immediately by the DMV.
That is why you should hire an experienced DUI lawyer to help you navigate this process and reach an outcome that is favorable for you.
Pre-Trial Proceedings in a DUI Case
The next step in the legal process will be the pre-trial proceedings. During this time, your experienced DUI lawyer will review your statements and the statements of any witnesses, and exchange information with the district attorney’s office.
This part of the process could lead to a plea bargain, where the DUI charges are dropped if you agree to plead guilty to a lesser crime such as wet reckless.
The Arraignment in a DUI Case
After you are arrested, you will be assigned a court date known as the “arraignment.” At the arraignment, you will be formally charged with DUI and you will be asked to enter a plea. You can plead guilty or not guilty. You should not enter a plea without first consulting a skilled DUI defense attorney,
During the arraignment, the judge will also likely make decisions regarding your right to counsel and bail. In addition, if you decide to plead not guilty, the judge will likely set the case for a “pretrial conference.”
The Pretrial Conference
If your DUI case is heading to a jury trial, the judge will likely set up a pretrial conference some time before your jury trial. During the pretrial conference, the prosecution will make its case in front of a judge in his chambers, showing the evidence against you. This is mostly done for the defendant, who will also be present with his or her attorney. The prosecution essentially argues that their case against you is very strong in an attempt to get you to accept a plea bargain before the case can go to trial.
Additionally, your DUI defense lawyer will summarize your defense to the charges to the judge and prosecution during the pretrial conference. This is why it is very important to hire an experienced DUI lawyer who can present a strong defense to the charges against you and possibly prevent the case from going to trial.
After hearing arguments from both the prosecution and the defense, the judge will likely attempt to get both sides to compromise and reach a plea agreement that is favorable for both sides. If a plea bargain can be reached, a new court date will be scheduled where you will be able to enter your plea. If no agreement can be reached, the case will be set for trial.
Contact an Experienced DUI Lawyer at Wallin & Klarich
The DUI process is extremely complicated and involves many different aspects. In fact, not only do you have a criminal case, you will also have a case with the DMV regarding your driving privileges. That is why you need to act now.
Contact an experienced DUI lawyer to defend you. Our lawyers at Wallin & Klarich have been successfully defending our clients accused of DUI for over 35 years. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Los Angeles, West Covina, Torrance and San Diego, our skilled and knowledgeable DUI attorneys are available to help you no matter where you are located.
Call us at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.