The DUI Court Process in California
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Upon arrest for driving under the influence you will be provided with a future court date if you are released from custody on your own recognizance or post bail. If you do not post bail then you have the right to appear before a judge within 48 hours of your arrest. Southern California DUI attorney, Kellee Parker Harris recommends and our team at Parker Law Center firmly believes that you should not try to represent yourself on your criminal charges. Instead, you should consult with a skilled legal advocate who can fight for your rights and protect you throughout the varying twists and turns in the DUI court process.
Investigation & Arrest
Prior to the officer’s initial contact with you, the officer will determine if he/ she has probable cause or reasonable suspicion to conduct a traffic enforcement stop or investigate the pending matter. During the investigation, law enforcement will decide if there is probable cause to believe you committed a crime. This probable cause must be based upon specific facts and circumstances resulting from a combination of any of the following: driving, poor attention, performance on field sobriety tests, slurred speech, unsteady gait, bloodshot/ watery eyes, odor of alcohol, admission of drinking, results of a preliminary alcohol screening test, etc. As long as you are 21 or older and not on probation for DUI then the field sobriety tests and preliminary alcohol screening test are considered voluntary; thus, you can decline to complete them.
If officers are able to determine they have probable cause then they will place you under arrest. Following arrest, you must be provided with the chemical admonition which informs you of the right to select between the breath and blood test for DUI alcohol arrests. Should you refuse to submit to the chemical test then you will be subject to enhanced penalties including jail time and a longer license suspension.
While this is separate from the court process, it is important to discuss because it requires immediate action. From the date of your arrest, you’ll have just 10 days to request an APS hearing and place a stay on the license suspension. The APS hearing must be requested at the local driver safety office. Failure to request this hearing within 10 days will result in an automatic license suspension beginning 30 days from the date of arrest.
At the APS hearing, your lawyer will attempt to fight to avoid the administrative license suspension that often accompanies DUI arrests. There are a variety of procedures which must be followed at the hearing; thus, it is vital you contact a DUI attorney today to discuss next steps.
The Court Process
The criminal process is as follows:
- Arraignment (initial court appearance)
- Discovery & review of the evidence
- Pretrial hearings (negotiations with prosecutors)
- Pretrial motions (1538.5 motion to suppress, Serna motions, Pitchess motions, etc.)
- Trial (jury selection, opening statements, prosecution’s case, defendant’s case, closing statements, deliberation, and verdict)
Parker Law Center provides comprehensive representation at both the Court and DMV hearing. Attorney Parker will walk you through every step of the process and answer any questions you may have. She will want to review the evidence with you as you are a vital member of the legal team. Once all of the evidence has been evaluated, Attorney Parker will present the options of setting your case for a motion, entering into a negotiated plea agreement or moving on to jury trial.
Get the help you need through every step of this complex process; contact Parker Law Center today by calling (800) 805-8804!