If you’re facing a DUI charge in Coto De Caza, you’re probably worried about what it means for your future. Even if this is your first DUI offense, the penalties can be severe in the State of California. You could be facing thousands of dollars in fees and fines, loss of your driver’s license, jail time, and more. But that doesn’t mean you must accept the worst penalties as fate. With a good Coto De Case DUI lawyer on your side, you can fight your charge and increase your chances of coming out better.
DUI lawyers routinely question the prosecution’s evidence against you and look for ways to potentially get you lighter penalties, a lesser charge, or, in some cases, have you walk away free. But it’s very important to contact a DUI lawyer as soon as you can after your arrest. Time is precious in any DUI case, and the moment to take action is now. To get connected with a top Coto De Caza DUI attorney for FREE, contact us at 310-862-0199, or complete the form on this page today.
Three Crucial DUI Case Deadlines to Know About
As soon as you’re arrested for DUI, the clock starts ticking on the legal process. To best defend yourself, it’s vital to know about these three important deadlines in a DUI case.
1. License Suspension and DMV Hearing
Whether you’re arrested by local police, the Orange County Sheriff, or the California Highway Patrol, you’ll likely spend the night in jail. Before you’re released, police will take your driver’s license and give you a temporary license. This happens because after a DUI arrest, the California DMV automatically places an admin per se suspension on your license after 30 days—unless you try to fight it.
To possibly avoid losing your license 30 days after arrest, you must contact the DMV and request a hearing within 10 days. If you miss this deadline, there’s no going back, so do it right away. Your DUI lawyer can also help schedule this hearing for you and represent you during it.
There are several huge benefits of the DMV hearing:
- If you win, you may keep your license. This is one less stress to worry about during the court process
- Requesting a DMV hearing delays the suspension of your license, no matter when the hearing actually takes place. (DMV hearings are often scheduled far in advance, so if you win your case, you might not have to attend it at all)
- During the hearing, your lawyer can listen to testimony from the officer who arrested you. They can identify any inconsistencies or possible violations of your rights, using the information to start building a strong case
2. The Arraignment and Your Plea
If you don’t already have a DUI lawyer at this point, you’ll want to get one as soon as possible. The arraignment is a hearing with one sole purpose: entering of your official plea.
You have three plea options:
- Guilty, meaning you don’t plan to fight the charge
- Not Guilty, meaning you plan to fight your charge
- Or No Contest, meaning you aren’t openly admitting guilt, but you also won’t fight the charge
The prosecution may try to pressure you into a Guilty plea before the arraignment. They might say you don’t have other options or try to offer you a “bargain” of lesser penalties for pleading Guilty. However, the first plea bargain is rarely ever an actually good deal. And unless your DUI lawyer specifically advises it, pleading Guilty is usually not a good idea. Your attorney will be able to determine what the best course of action actually is for you.
During the arraignment and after you submit your plea, you will be given a date for your trial.
3. The Trial
As soon as you hire them, your DUI attorney will be preparing for your trial. The trial usually takes place within 45 days of your arrest.
During the trial, you’ll go before a jury of 12 people taken from the local community. The jury will decide if you’re either Guilty or Not Guilty.
If you’re found Guilty, the judge will give you a sentence. The sentence you receive depends heavily on the specific DUI charge you’re facing, as well as the judge’s level of strictness and feelings about the case.
If you’re found Not Guilty, you’ll be free to walk away cleared of all charges.
In many DUI cases where the defendant (you) has a DUI lawyer, the trial doesn’t actually happen. DUI lawyers are trained to drive a hard bargain with the prosecution and look for weak spots that work in your favor. They will also be familiar with judges in your area and the ways they typically lean.
A lot of the time, your lawyer is able to get you a good deal or get enough evidence thrown out so you have a favorable outcome and don’t need to go to trial. However, if you do go on to court, you’ll still have the best chance possible with an attorney trained in DUI law and defense.
How Do I Find the Best DUI Lawyer in Coto De Caza?
When it comes to DUI defense, there should be no skimping on quality. You deserve the best representation possible, and you need a legal professional who knows this business.
Look for a DUI attorney who:
Focuses exclusively on DUIs
A lawyer can say they work on DUI cases, but that doesn’t mean they have a lot of experience with them. Find someone whose practice is solely focused on DUI cases. That way, you’ll know they have the experience and training you need to support you.
Offers a free consultation
This is very important: the consultation should always be free. Some attorneys will charge you just for the initial meeting with them, but we think this is unnecessary. Plus, it’s not standard practice and not typical with seasoned DUI attorneys. Look for someone who will offer the consultation for free.
Proven track record of success
Don’t be afraid to schedule a free consultation and ask the lawyer for proof of success on DUI cases. An experienced DUI lawyer will have a track record to show they know how to win cases. Ask about past cases they have won and any specific training or board certification they have in DUI law.
Speak with a Coto De Caza DUI Lawyer For Free Today
You deserve the best DUI lawyer for your case. Don’t assume there’s nothing you can about an impending DUI charge. A good lawyer can fight for the best outcome possible. We can personally match you with a DUI lawyer who is best for you and your unique situation—and the initial consultation is always FREE. For your free consultation, call 310-862-0199, or fill out the form on this page today.