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What Will Happen If You’re Arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles?

  • By: Ron Hedding
  • Published: November 27, 2020

I have a lot of 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.

They’ve been given a ticket by the police and they have a court date coming up and are not really sure what to do.

A lot of times 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.

Misdemeanor vs Felony DUI Charges in California

Sometimes they don’t even realize that a DUI is a crime and 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:What Will Happen If You’re Arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles?

  • (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, when you appear in court, your attorney will get all the paperwork related to your case.  That includes the investigative reports, any videos that are available.

Pretty much whatever the police did to investigate the case is going to be turned over to your attorney.  Sometimes, there are videos available on the bodycam of the police or on the dash of the car and those have to be requested by the defense.DUI Court Process in Los Angeles

They’re not necessarily always given over.  Also, bail will be addressed at the first court appearance which is 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 give you a opportunity 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 a lot of times I’ll get some things in the paperwork and I need to talk to my client to find out if they’re true.

Once the client reviews everything, a lot of times they’re going to have more information to pass along.

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 trial, or whether we’re going to try to plea bargain with the prosecutors to try 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. DUI Lawyer in Los Angeles

I encourage you, if you’ve got a DUI in Los Angeles County, 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 to not have you burdened by a 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.

Ron Hedding

About the Author Named Top Los Angeles DUI Defence Attorney by LA Times and named one of the Top 100 DUI Defence attorneys in California by the National Trial Lawyers Association. I'm the attorney other lawyers hire to defend them.