As soon as you are arrested and booked for DUI in California, there are two major hurdles to overcome: your DMV hearing and your court case. The DMV hearing provides an opportunity to avoid license suspension, while you must go to court to face criminal charges for drunk driving.
The following are the proper steps to take immediately after a DUI arrest:
- Call the California DMV immediately after your arrest – You must contact the DMV within 10 days after your DUI arrest date to request a hearing and obtain a stay. A stay allows you to keep driving even after your 30-day temporary license has expired, while a DMV hearing gives you a chance to try to prevent the DMV from suspending your license. Otherwise, your driver’s license is subject to suspension automatically 30 days after your DUI arrest date.
- Obtain a copy of the police report – After your arrest, the arresting officer typically prepares a written report about you that is then forwarded to the Prosecutor’s office and then the court, as well as to the DMV. The police report should have information regarding your breath or blood test results, why the officer stopped you, what you objective symptoms were, etc. While the police report is available on your first court date, you can request the DMV to send it to you approximately 10 days before the DMV hearing.
- Seek legal representation – You can either represent yourself, obtain the services of a public defender, or hire your own private attorney. It is not a wise decision to represent yourself since you are most likely not familiar with the legal process. While a public defender is a reasonably frugal option, a private attorney can commit the time to solely help you obtain the most favorable outcome possible.
- Accept a plea bargain or go to trial – At some point during your case, you need to decide whether you want to take your case to trial and select or jury, or accept a plea bargain with the prosecutor.
At The Law Office of Brian C. Andritch, we are committed to protecting your rights, reputation, and freedom in the event of a DUI arrest. With more than 18 years of experience, our Fresno criminal defense lawyer has obtained dismissals in thousands of cases and understands how the criminal justice system works as a former prosecutor.
Contact us and request a free consultation today.