California DUI Stages
The 10 Day Rule
If you have been arrested for drunk driving, you must contact the DMV within 10 days to request a DMV hearing or your license will be suspended.
We can contact the DMV on your behalf and request a stay of the suspension and a hearing so you can continue to drive. See our page on how to beat a DUI.
This is an action that is completely separate from the criminal case which is addressed in criminal court.
The DMV hearing is an excellent opportunity to examine and object to evidence which is against you. This may including the police report, chain of custody; specifically any blood samples taken (if it was taken), lab reports, etc. In addition, at this stage we can serve subpoenas to compel the appearance of specific individuals with documents or other evidence which the DMV won’t possess.
This evidence may include video of the stop and roadside interview, if such recordings exist; the police officers notes, logs and transport records; any video or audio recordings made at the police station; and any usage logs, maintenance and repair reports, and downloaded data for any machine used to test the breath. Again, this is a great opportunity to look for defects in the evidence.
If you hire us, there is no need for you to attend the APS hearing. In fact, we typically prefer our clients not to attend, as hearing officers are often skilled in eliciting damaging admissions from drivers.
The Arraignment is the first opportunity to actually see the formal document that the District Attorney’s office files in court when it accuses someone of a DUI. A great part of hiring us is that for a DUI, it isn’t typically necessary for our clients to appear personally in court because we appear on your behalf.
The good news is that Plea bargaining can happen at any point in the DUI process after a defendant is charged. Specifically, we will be working on getting the case dismissed or charges reduced early on. If a plea is reached, a defendant will plead “no contest,” possibly to lesser charges, in return for a more lenient sentence than would have applied originally.
The possible deal we can reach for your will be based on examined evidence and the discovery which we conduct. Examples of things we will bring up to the District Attorney are breathalyzer machine records, investigating conditions that may have caused a false BAC reading, investigating technical defects in case and etc…
There is typically a Pretrial Hearing 30-90 days after the arraignment. During this time we conduct our investigation and discovery regarding your case.
It is at this hearing that a lot of the negotiating is done to either get the penalties reduced or charges dismissed. At this hearing your attorney will have one on one discussions with a District Attorney. There may be several of these hearings before the case progresses, or is dismissed.
Depending on what we find in our investigations, at this point we may file motions to suppress evidence (among other motions which may help the case).
If the case is not resolved in the Pretrial stage, then we will move to a trial. At trial, the prosecutor has the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crimes charge. We will challenge these theories, and will attempt to create some reasonable doubt as to whether you committed the crimes charged.
You Only Have 10 Days to Take Action!
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