How Long Does It Take To Resolve A DUI Case In Los Angeles?
Like most matters in DUI defense and criminal defense, the answer is, it depends. In Los Angeles County a lot of the courts try to move the cases along. For example, Van Nuys has what’s called the ninety-day rule where your case has to be done within ninety days one way or another. But a lot of the other courts do not practice that same rule in LA County when it comes to DUI’s. So, it’s going to depend on a number of different factors.
One, if they have the evidence on the client and the client wants to resolve the case quickly, we can usually resolve it in the first or second court appearance. However, most times we want to evaluate everything and look to make sure the police did everything correctly and they didn’t violate any of the client’s rights and see if there are any defenses to either the breath test or the blood test or the stop in the case and how they handled the client. So, typically what we do is we will make the court appearance for the client for the first appearance, pick up the paperwork related to the case — the arrest report and any other documents, blood or breath result — and then we’ll speak to the prosecutor about the case and see what they have to say about it and see if there’s any other evidence pending in the case, and then do an investigative plan on what we’re going to do moving forward with the case.
Then, the same day as the court appearance, we’ll email over what’s called “discovery” on the DUI case, to the client. The client will take a look at it and then we’ll set up a meeting so we can go over our strategy. So, we really have a lot of control over how quickly we can resolve a DUI case. Sometimes though, we need to do some things that take some time. For example, let’s say there’s a question about the stop and we want to get the video from the police vehicle and we want to get the video from the Los Angeles Police Department on their body cams to see if there’s some evidence on there that might help us. Now, that’s going to take some time. We’re going to have to send a letter to the prosecutor’s discovery unit. Then we’re going to have to press them and we’ll get the evidence. We’ll review it and review it with you.
Other times, we might want to do what’s called a blood split. If they took your blood, we might have our own expert take whatever blood is left and test that to see if their result is accurate. Sometimes it comes back as a different result, especially if it’s close to the .08. A lot of times we get a little bit lower and that can help us either resolve the case or win the case at a jury trial. If it’s going to be a jury trial, obviously it will take some time to prepare it, investigate it, get you prepared and then we’ll do the jury trial.
Again, we can usually resolve these cases fairly quickly if that’s what our client wants because sometimes it’s a lot of stress for people having a DUI case pending against them and they want to get rid of it. They want to get on the road to recovery. They want to get on the road to damage control and they want to get back on the road, literally, with the DMV. So, there’s a number of different angles we can take both with the court and with the DMV in fighting the case. We take only the angles that are applicable to your case. We’re not going to go down a dark path, waste time, stress you out and do things that are meaningless.
That’s why when you make a phone call to a perspective DUI attorney and you start talking to him about the case, make sure that they’re talking about your case. In other words, they have to listen to what happened in your case — what evidence there is, what you did, what information you’re able to provide and a lot of times they’re going to need the police report to see how the police have written things up. They’re going to have to look at all the evidence related to the case and then they can sit down, have a discussion with you and see what makes the most sense for your DUI case in Los Angeles.
So, I would suggest that if you’ve got a DUI in LA, let your attorney dictate how quickly the case goes. Of course, they’re going to listen to what you say, but let them figure out the best defense for you. When you and I come in and we have all the pieces of the puzzle — I have the arrest report, all the evidence, I have your version, I have any witness statements, I’ve done my own investigation, then we sit down and talk and we’re going to decide what we’re going to do — are we going to resolve this case or are we going to fight it and take it to trial?
If the answer is that we’re going to resolve the case, then you and I are going to agree on what our bottom line is, and then I’m going to go into court using my twenty-five years of experience and try to get that for you. That may take some time. Typically, with my retainer fee, you’re not going to get anything extra for that. I charge a flat fee and I’m looking to get you the best result possible. It’ doesn’t matter how many times I have to go back. I’m going to do it because I’m working in your interest and I want to get you the best possible result we can for your DUI case in Los Angeles under the circumstances.
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