I get asked this question a lot. I think the reason I get asked this question is because people want to get out of the criminal system as fast as possible. They don't want to be charged with a DUI in the first place. They begin by telling me they have a clean driving record. They never had any problems before. They didn't hurt anybody.
They're really in shock because they've lost control of their situation. They're facing criminal charges. They're potentially facing jail and loss of their license and they don't know what to do, so they get very worried about it and they want to get it over with as fast as possible.
First Court Appearance in Los Angeles
Just to give you an idea since I've been doing this 26 years in Los Angeles county, most of the courts you appear in the court. You enter a not-guilty plea or you can continue the arraignment depending on what strategy your attorney has.
In Van Nuys for example, they're going to have you come back in a couple of weeks. You can actually resolve it after those couple of weeks if you choose, if it's in your best interest.
The Metro court which handles a higher volume of cases — downtown LA, 1945 Hill Street — they handle all the bars down there — Hollywood. They've compacted a lot of courts and they've closed about 10 to 15 courts so Metro gets a lot of action so that's going to take longer to resolve.
In fact, there's probably a 50% chance when your attorney goes to court in that particular downtown LA courthouse that they're not even going to file the case yet on the first arraignment.
They don't have the time and they don't have the manpower, so a lot of times a case will be continued for a month or two and you get a letter in the mail that they filed the case and then your attorney can deal with it.
Couple of Weeks and Up To Six Months
But I think to answer the question real specifically, it can take anywhere from a couple of weeks from your arraignment to six months. I've even seen cases stretch out past six months if there's some good issues that need to be litigated and some things aren't available.
Let's say there's a blood test and there's no breath test. You're going to want to wait for the blood test before you would plead guilty obviously. Maybe you're under the .08 and you don't have to plead guilty. So, if that blood test takes two or three months you're going to have to wait for it.
Also, maybe you want to do a blood spit. Maybe you blew a .07, 08, .09. That's close to the legal limit. If you've got other factors in your favor, like you passed some of the field sobriety tests according to the police, your driving was fine.
It's your first offense, then you may want to do that blood split, pay an expert $500 and see if maybe the expert comes up with a different result. Maybe there's some contamination. If it's a breath test maybe the machine wasn't properly calibrated. Maybe it was taken out of service after it was used on you because there was a problem with it. Who knows?
The bottom line is, my firm is going to look at everything and if we see that there's issues with the case to tackle, then of course we're going to challenge the prosecutors. We're going to do everything we can to get the case dismissed and if we can, fantastic, you'll be happy and leave us a review like so many other people have.
DUI Plea Bargains in Los Angeles
But if there's no issues, then we're going to probably want to plea bargain, negotiate the case and try to resolve it. It will be up to you whether you want to take the case to trial. I don't quote a trial in the beginning of a case because a lot of times we don't have the evidence in the beginning of the case.
So, why would you charge somebody a trial fee, get the evidence, see that they're not likely going to beat the case, they'd just be wasting their money and probably get a worse punishment if they went to trial.
I don't do it that way. I take a flat fee and it covers the case up to trial and then we make a decision on whether or not you want to take the case to trial. If you decide you do, I'll charge you a fee to try the case and then we'll play it from there. So, all this stuff is common sense.
Don't listen to these lawyers or office staff when you call over the phone that are mentioning all of these defenses. If you hear a defense and you think that really doesn't apply to me, now you're in a sales pitch.
Whoop-t-Doo. That doesn't help you. You want to hear cold hard facts. You want someone who's going to give it to you straight so that you can make an informed decision and make the right decision so you can get out of the system as fast possible with the least amount of consequences. If you want help you've come to the right place. Pick up the phone. Make the call now. We will make it easy and smooth for you.