The following assumes a first time misdemeanor DUI arrest under CA Vehicle Code 23152.

The First thing that will happen is you will likely be taken into custody where a blood sample will be taken for testing and your car may be impounded.  Generally, in the absence of warrants or other legal issues, they often release people late that night or the next day.   If not, have someone contact The Davis Law Office.  We can help by working with trusted Bail Bonds companies to attempt to have you released.  (You will know the number because my card will be on your fridge, and in your wallet right behind your license-  I always have them with me, so feel free to ask for one, or contact me from this site and I can mail a few to you.   Oh oh, or you can bookmark into you and your family's favorites on home computer and smartphones.)

The next thing that will happen is that the charge will be reported to the DMV, and they will automatically and immediately have your license suspended.   Your license will be taken by the officer, and a temporary 30 day license will be given if you if you are over 21 and have no other license issues.  Even if you are totally innocent, just being charged causes this to happen.  This suspension can be stayed (postponed), if a request for a DMV administrative hearing is made within 10 days of the citation.  At the hearing, there is a chance to show that the arresting officer did not have probable cause for the arrest, or, that you were not driving at a time you had over .08% alcohol in your system.  If the DMV cannot prove by a preponderance of the evidence, that you were driving while intoxicated, or that the arrest was with cause, the DMV will overrule the suspension.   If not successful at the hearing, the 4 month suspension can stay in effect even if the charges are dropped or you are shown to be not guilty.   (I will bitch about the unconstitutionality of this whole process some other day.)   

Next, you will have to appear in court for an arraignment.  This is where the charges against you are specifically spelled out and the prosecutor will supply your attorney with the information they have about your case- usually the arrest report and the lab testing results.  The court may also set a trial date.

After this, the court will set a "pre-trial hearing." This is where an experienced DUI attorney can try to work out a plea deal to minimize the sentence against you and indicate the defects in the prosecution's case or the legality of the arrest.   Sometimes more time is needed to gather information and another pre-trial hearing is set.

If there is no successful resolution,  the next step is the trial.  There are so many possible ways a trial can take place, I can't really say much definitively, except that  they aren't fun for person charged.  Whether or not to go to trial or resolve the matter prior is dependent on what the prosecution will agree to and the facts of each individual case.  It truly depends on exactly what happened, how it happened and what proof is available.    

You have a right to a speedy trial, so the matter can be resolved very quickly, however, it often makes sense to allow the trial date to be a little farther away to get all the necessary information, such as retesting blood, ordering any 911 transcripts, speaking to and arranging for witnesses etc.

Tomorrow, I will outline what costs, programs, suspensions and the like are probable outcomes of being arrested and charged with a DUI.

The Davis Law Office


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