A typical DUI case begins with a traffic enforcement action by a peace officer. The peace officer observes signs of intoxication (even just mild signs), and arrests the suspect for DUI. The suspect is usually taken back to the police station where he/she is given the choice between a breath or a blood test. After the chemical test, the suspect is booked, fingerprinted, and placed in a holding cell. Many times the suspect is released own his/her own recognizance (OR) and given a date to return to Court for the arraignment. Other times, the police station sets a bail amount based on a preset bail schedule which requires a certain amount of money be posted before the person may be released. If the person cannot afford the bail amount, then the person is held until he/she can see the judge which should happen within 48 hours.
At the arraignment, the charges are read to the defendant and he/she enters a plea of “guilty” or “not guilty.” Most DUI cases are filed as misdemeanors; a misdemeanor offense allows the attorney to appear in Court on the client’s behalf without the client being present. Once a not guilty plea is entered, the case is set for a pre-trial. During the pre-trial process a skilled defense attorney can evaluate the case and file any and all motions that are necessary (i.e. Serna Motion, Motion to Suppress, Motion to Dismiss etc.). During the pre-trial conferences, the defense attorney has a chance to review the case with the prosecutor and negotiate the matter. Depending on the circumstances, a plea bargain could be the best option for the client. Other times, the case should be taken to trial. The Parker Law Center will evaluate your case, the evidence, and all possible defenses and determine your best course of action.