What to Do After Being Charged with a DUI in California
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in California. If you have been charged with a DUI, it is important to understand your rights and options. This blog post will discuss what to do after being charged with a DUI in California.
I. What Happens After You Are Charged with a DUI?
After you are charged with a DUI, you will be given an arraignment date. You will need to appear in court on this date to answer to the charges against you. At your court date, you will have the opportunity to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest.
If you plead guilty or no contest, you will be sentenced by the judge. The sentence for a DUI can include fines, jail time, probation, and the installation of an ignition interlock device.
Depending on your case, your attorney may be able to negotiate a plea deal with the district attorney. The type of plea deal offered will vary depending on the factors of your case, your prior criminal history, and the mitigation items you’re able to provide.
If you plead not guilty, your case will could go to trial. If you case reaches trial, the prosecution will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were driving under the influence. If the prosecution is unable to prove this, you will be found not guilty.
II. What Happens To Your License After Being Charged with a DUI?
It’s important to note that you only have 10 days from the date of the incident to request a DMV APS hearing, otherwise your license will be suspended. You or your attorney can request a hearing via fax as long as it’s done within the 10 day window.
Your DMV hearing will determine whether your license will be suspended. If your hearing is a loss, you can reinstate your driving privileges by signing up for DUI classes, installing an ignition interlock device, adding as SR-22 to your insurance policy, and paying a reissue fee. You can read more about DMV APS hearings in our previous blogpost.
III. What Are Your Rights After Being Charged with a DUI?
You have a number of rights after being charged with a DUI. These rights include the right to:
- Remain silent
- Have an attorney present during questioning
- Have a speedy trial
- Be free from unreasonable search and seizure
- Testify in your own defense
IV. What Are Your Options After Being Charged with a DUI?
There are a number of options available to you after being charged with a DUI. These options include:
- Pleading guilty or no contest. This is the simplest option, but it will result in a conviction on your record.
- Pleading not guilty and going to trial. This is a more complex option, but it gives you the best chance of being found not guilty.
- Negotiating a plea deal. This is a middle ground option that can result in a reduced sentence.
- Seeking an alcohol treatment program. This may be an option if you have a substance abuse problem.
V. What Should You Do Next?
If you have been charged with a DUI in California, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options and represent you in court. The Law Offices of Mark A. Gallagher has been helping clients with DUI charges for over 20 years. If you or a loved one is facing a DUI charge, it’s imperative that you call us immediately to see how we can help.
The road ahead might seem overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. Visit www.socaldefenselawyers.com for more information or call our offices at 800-797-8406 to schedule your free consultation. We can help you navigate what’s coming ahead.