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Practices > Riverside and Orange County DUI Lawyers > You Were Arrested for Suspicion of DUI…What Happens Next?

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Riverside, Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino & San Diego Counties

At this point, a police agency has stopped or contacted you, put you through a battery of field sobriety tests, taken a blood or breath sample, confiscated your driver’s license, arrested you for DUI and given you a date to appear in court…where should you go from here? Well, first and foremost, you have taken the first step by researching WILL & WILL, LLP. Our dedicated defense attorneys are here to explain the process and help you through it.

I. Your Driver’s License and The DMV:
At some point during this ordeal, a police officer has most likely taken away your driver's license and given you a pink slip entitled "Suspension Order and Temporary License." This form serves as (1) a temporary license that gives you the right to drive for 30 days; and (2) a notice that the temporary license will automatically turn into a suspension of your driver’s license in 30 days unless an administrative per se (“APS”) hearing on the matter is requested and scheduled with the local driver’s safety office.

There is a limited time within which the APS hearing must be scheduled. You have ten (10) calendar days to contact the DMV and request a hearing. Once the hearing is requested, the license suspension is automatically postponed pending the outcome of the hearing. You will receive a notice in the mail letting you know how long your temporary driving privileges will be extended until. You have a right to elect either an in-person or telephonic hearing. Our attorneys at WILL & WILL, LLP always schedule live hearings for our clients.

The APS hearing takes place in a closed room at one of the local DMV driver’s safety offices. The DMV hearing officer who presides over your hearing is an employee of the DMV. They are not lawyers, former judges, etc… You are entitled to be present, along with your lawyer, and any witnesses that may be called by either side. The hearing officer must decide three issues, all of which must be true before the license can be suspended:

  1. Did you violate a section of the California Vehicle Code or was there some other probable cause for an officer to contact you?
  2. Were there enough objective symptoms of alcohol intoxication to effectuate a lawful arrest?
  3. Was your BAC at the time of driving .08 or greater?

Our attorneys at WILL & WILL, LLP scrutinize everything the arresting officer put in his/her report in order to argue as many defenses as possible in your case. Our attorneys are looking for arguments to refute all three of the above issues. The DMV hearing officer needs to find that each of the above three issues was true in your case in order to uphold the suspension. If we are victorious, however, your license is fully reinstated.

2. Your Criminal Record and The Court Process:
The date you were given to appear in court is your arraignment date. This is your first court appearance. If you are charged with misdemeanor DUI, your attorney can appear for you (meaning you don't have to be present) at this court date. The same is usually true for all future court dates. However, if you have been charged with felony DUI, you will need to be present at this and all future court appearances.

At the arraignment, your WILL & WILL, LLP defense attorney will (1) enter a plea of "not guilty" on your behalf; (2) receive the initial discovery packet which normally consists of a police report, any breath/blood test report, and a copy of your driving record; and he/she will (3) set a pre-trial date to discuss/negotiate your case with the District Attorney’s office (this normally occurs 2-4 weeks later).

At this point, our knowledgeable and experiences DUI lawyers will review the discovery packet they received and begin to develop any defenses and favorable issues that exist in your case. This preparation may include:
• Reviewing the details of the police reports with the client
• Obtaining further documents from the prosecution
• Interviewing third-party witnesses
• Obtaining the calibration/maintenance history of the equipment used (ex. PAS and/or breath machine)
• Reviewing the radio logs and history of the arresting officer
• Examining the scene of the traffic stop
• Having our own toxicologist analyze blood or breath results
• Drafting motions to be presented at court and DMV hearings

There may be several pre-trials before the DUI case against you is resolved or brought to trial. The process may take several months. It is during this period that the DUI attorney "works up" the case with a view towards securing a reduced charge or preparing a persuasive case for jury trial.

If a plea agreement is reached, we can either (1) bring you to court to enter the plea, or (2) have you sign the relevant documents in our office, have the documents notarized, and bring the documents to court on your behalf.

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