When somebody is arrested for a DUI, it's a terrifying process. A lot of people don't know what to do. The two main concerns you should have are number one, your driver's license. It would help if you had that to get around, especially in a metropolis like Los Angeles. So, you're going to need to start making some moves on that related 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 to suspend your license and put you in jail — give you a criminal record — related to your DUI matter. So, it's of great concern that you could have a criminal record; you could go to jail and have a host of other punishments related to your DUI arrest.
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 those ten days.
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 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, 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 understand how to represent yourself best. 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 will 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 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 the attorney answers those questions, 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 knowledge 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 will 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 critical thing. We have problems in our lives. We want to get some resolution in our heads — okay, here's what I have to do. I can deal with this problem.
It does not know that's the worst thing, and that's what happens a lot of times in these DUI's because you're being arrested again. You're being thrown in jail. The police are threatening you 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 I talk about with my client. I want to know where your point is? 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. Of course, we will look at your specific scenario because not all DUI's are treated equally. The higher your blood alcohol level, the more dangerous the authorities perceive you, and the more punishment you will get—the lower the blood alcohol level, the better position 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, give the attorney all the information in an honest manner, and let them start the process of getting this behind you.