I have many people contacting me who are pretty much thrown into a tizzy and don't know what to do because they've been arrested for a DUI under California Vehicle Code 23152.
The police have given them a ticket, and they have a court date coming up and are not sure what to do.
Often, they're talking about the fact that they have no record. Their driving record is good. They have no points. They have a good job; a good family, and they're hoping that the prosecutors will not file a criminal case against them.
Sometimes they don't even realize that a DUI is a crime. If you get convicted for it, you'll have a criminal record of either a misdemeanor or felony DUI under California Vehicle Code 23153. The dividing line on that is:
- (1) if somebody was seriously injured, it's going to be a felony; and
- (2) if you have four DUIs, you can get convicted of a felony if you're picked up for another DUI.
But most of the people that I see, believe it or not, it's their first DUI. Their first brush with the law, and they don't know what's going to happen.
Your best bet is to hire an attorney like me who has experience. I've been doing this for 26 years.
I worked for the District Attorney's office, for a Superior Court Judge, and then I've been the guiding force behind the Hedding Law Firm now since 1994. So, I've got a lot of experience, and I can walk you through the process.
DUI Court Process in Los Angeles
But to give you an idea, your attorney will get all the paperwork related to your case when you appear in court. That includes the investigative reports, any available videos.
Pretty much whatever the police did to investigate the case will be turned over to your attorney. Sometimes, there are videos available on the bodycam of the police or the dash of the car, and those have to be requested by the defense.
They're not necessarily always given over. Also, bail will be addressed at the first court appearance, called the arraignment. You'll also enter your plea — either a:
- not guilty plea,
- guilty plea, or
- a no-contest plea.
Typically, when you have an attorney, you're going to enter a not guilty plea so you can review everything and decide what your best move is going forward with the case.
A new court date will be set, and that will allow you with your attorney to go over the paperwork so you can see what evidence they have.
Also, what they're charging you with, whether you might have any defenses or whether any motions can be filed on your behalf to assist you. These are all things evaluated by your attorney.
Developing a DUI Defense Strategy
When I do these cases, I'm not only evaluating what's in the paperwork; I want to hear what my client has to say about it. Because I often get some things in the paperwork, I need to talk to my client to find out if they're true.
Once the client reviews everything, they're going to have more information to pass along a lot of times.
So, we'll get the chance between the arraignment and the next court date to review everything and get our game plan together on exactly how we're going to handle the case.
Whether we're going to file any motions, whether we're going to try to set the case up for a trial, or whether we're going to plea bargain with the prosecutor's prosecutors to get the best possible resolution.
DUI Lawyer in Los Angeles
Moving forward after that first arraignment is kind of up in the air at this point because you and your attorney haven't talked about everything.
If you've got a DUI in Los Angeles County, I encourage you to pick up the phone.
Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. We'll start the process of getting this behind you.
We'll start the process of trying to get this off your record, either now or in the future. That's my target.
My target is not to have you burdened by criminal defense and a criminal record for the rest of your life.
So, pick up the phone. Make the call now. I stand at the ready to help you with your DUI matter in Los Angeles County.