When somebody is arrested for a DUI, obviously it's a very scary process. A lot of people really don't know what to do. The two main concerns that you should have is number one, your driver's license. Obviously, you need that to get around especially in a metropolis like Los Angeles. So, you're going to need to start making some moves on that as it relates to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
The second issue you want to be concerned about is the criminal court because they have the power not only to suspend your license, but they also have the power to put you in jail — give you a criminal record — related to your DUI matter. So, obviously, it's of great concern that you could have criminal record; you could go to jail and have a host of other punishments related to your DUI arrest.
Temporary Driver's License
So, you're going to be given a pink slip of paper which is your temporary driver's license and you can use that for thirty days to drive. They'll usually take your regular driver's license away and send it to the DMV and the police are going to notify the DMV that you got arrested for a DUI, so obviously, you're going to want to deal with that.
I would always suggest using an attorney to deal with that. They have to be called within then days. You have to ask for a hearing. We usually send a letter along with that so they can't claim that they didn't get our phone call within that ten-day period.
Because if you don't call them within ten days or they claim they didn't get the call, then you lose your opportunity to fight the DMV from taking your driver's license away. So, that's obviously very important. Again, you can handle it yourself, but in my opinion, it's best to get an attorney to handle it.
Retain A DUI Lawyer
Then the second issue is, you're going to get a ticket with a court date on it — unless you had to post bail, then the bail bondsman will give you a court date — and obviously, unless you're a criminal defense attorney, you're not going to know what to do.
You're not going to know who to talk to and you're not going to know how to best represent yourself. So, you're going to want to hire a DUI defense attorney who does DUI's in that court. That makes sense — somebody who has been there before and handled cases similar to yours is going to be in the best position not only to advise you, but to get you the best result which is obviously what you want.
They'll be able to assess whether you have any defenses to your DUI or whether the police have enough evidence to convict you and therefore, you need to work out some sort of resolution or plea bargain with them. So, those are the two main concerns. The criminal court and the DMV when you have a DUI pending in Los Angeles County.
Developing A DUI Defense Strategy
Your next move is to go and sit down with an attorney. Get a list of questions together so that when those questions are answered by the attorney, you feel comfortable and understand what's going on. You know what you can do to help yourself.
You know what this attorney is going to do to help you. So, once you get all that information and you sit down with the information and get all of your questions answered, now you start getting control of your life back. You're going to feel comfortable that you know what's going on. You know what you can do to help yourself.
You know what the attorney is going to do to help you and you begin the process of taking control of your DUI in Los Angeles and having a sense of peace of mind about it. That's the key thing. We have problems in our lives. We want to try to get some resolution in our heads — okay, here's what I have to do. I can deal with this problem.
It's not knowing that's the worse thing and that's what happens a lot of times in these DUI's because again, you're being arrested. You're being thrown in jail. You're being threatened by the police if you don't cooperate with them. Now the DMV is coming against you. You have to go to court — who wants to go to court?
So, get an attorney. Make sure the attorney knows the courthouse where your case is pending. That's one of the first questions that I talk about with my client. I want to know where's your case? What judge is it in front of?
We can figure that out pretty quickly and I can kind of give you a run-down as to what the tendencies are of that judge, how the prosecutors deal with DUI's in that particular courthouse, and of course, we're going to look at your specific scenario because not all DUI's are treated equally. The higher your blood alcohol level, the more dangerous you're perceived by the authorities and the more punishment you're going to get. The lower the blood alcohol level, the better position that you're in.
So, make the phone call today. Your next step after you are arrested and you get out is to hire an attorney and give the attorney all the information in an honest manner and let them start the process of getting this behind you.