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What You Should Do After a DUI Arrest in California

A DUI arrest comes with many implications on your freedom, career, reputation, and driving privileges. Therefore, it is crucial to find the right legal help to fight any charges you might be facing. Remember that you might have to face criminal penalties and penalties from the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles upon conviction. If you have been arrested in Los Angeles, Jonathan Franklin DUI Attorney might help compel the court to drop or reduce your charges.  We also have highly trained and experienced DUI attorneys that will walk with you through the legal process until you obtain a favorable outcome out of your case.

Overview of California DUI Arrests

Drunk driving is a common problem in most states and also across the globe. The dangers of drunk driving are quite clear because any amount of alcohol in a driver’s bloodstream can impact their ability to operate a vehicle. The effects of alcohol vary greatly and can put even the most careful driver at risk of causing an accident. California is among the states in the country that have stringent DUI laws. These laws are meant to discourage drunk driving as one way to keep our roads safe for all users. Unfortunately, we still record high cases of drunk driving.

Some drivers operating while intoxicated is why we have law enforcement agencies on high alert at all times. Traffic police are always looking out for any incidents on the roads that could compromise other road users’ safety. Thus, if you are driving in a manner likely to suggest that you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the police will stop and screen you for drunk driving. If they have more reasons to believe that you are intoxicated, the police will arrest you for further investigation.

Since most of the detailed investigations for drunk driving are done after the arrest, it is possible to find yourself facing charges for drunk driving even when there is no cause for alarm. In that case, you need to hire the best DUI defense attorney for advice and help with defense if you are officially charged. A DUI defense attorney will do more than represent you in court; he/she will be with you throughout the legal process. Your attorney will be keen to protect your rights against violation and also fight for a fair outcome depending on your situation.

However, before that, you need to understand what the legal process is like and what you should do or not do after an arrest. Note that the California DUI process can be complicated, especially if it is your first DUI arrest. Even second-time arrestees find it a little intimidating. Not knowing what to do can significantly delay the process, which means that you might remain behind bars a little longer than you should. Again, any action you take, including what you say, must be done with great care as it can compromise your situation further. That is why you need to hire legal help as soon as after arrest.

Steps To Take After a DUI Arrest

No one anticipates an arrest. You may have been enjoying the best moments of your life with friends, and in less than an hour, you find yourself in jail, with no hope of getting out soon. In a situation like that, it is impossible to remain calm. However, stopping to think of what to do next may be the only best solution you have at that time. The law is not clear on what an arrestee should do after a DUI arrest. But an experienced DUI attorney can guide you through the legal processes until a court determines your situation. Here are essential steps you should take after a DUI arrest:

Remain Calm

One of the most significant challenges you will face after a DUI arrest is trying to remain calm. This is so especially if you know about the consequences of a DUI conviction, including loss of driving privileges and hefty fines. No one wants to have a criminal record too, which is why you might be tempted to negotiate with the police to release you.

However, you could jeopardize your situation if you do not remain calm. People tend to talk more when they are tense. It means that you might give away too much information than you should to the police.

For example, do not apologize, as this could be interpreted as an admission of guilt. Do not even try to explain your situation, as you may give the police more evidence that can be used against you in court. Any information you have regarding your case should only be shared with your attorney.

Contact the DMV Straightaway

As earlier mentioned, a DUI arrest in California will trigger two proceedings: a criminal case and a proceeding with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. The two instances are independent, and each proceeding brings its set of penalties if the offender is found guilty.

The criminal case is triggered as soon as the prosecuting attorney files a case against you in a criminal court. It will happen once the police are fully convinced that they have sufficient evidence to charge you with DUI and then hands your report to a prosecutor. However, you need to trigger the DMV hearing by contacting them as soon as after your arrest.

The law requires you to request a DMV hearing within ten days of your arrest. If not, the DMV will automatically suspend your driver’s license after 30 days of your arrest, even if you are not guilty. 

After a DUI arrest, the police will confiscate your driver’s license and issue an interim license that is only valid for 30 days. Contacting the DMV immediately after arrest gives you more time to continue driving. It also gives you a chance to fight for the reinstatement of your license.

Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney

Do not be tempted to think that you can hack the legal process by yourself. California’s DUI processes are complicated, and only an experienced DUI attorney can help you navigate them. Additionally, you will need help with collecting relevant evidence and preparing a strong defense.

If it is your first time to be arrested, you may be confused about what to do versus what not to do, not to get deeper into trouble. An experienced attorney has handled cases similar to yours several times. He/she has gone through the legal process several times before. Thus, he/she is the right person to answer all the questions you might have at that instance.

Speaking to an experienced attorney will take the burden off your shoulders. The right attorney will be sure to protect your rights against violation. He/she will be there to make the process smooth for you. It is easy to achieve a favorable outcome with an experienced attorney by your side.

Gather Evidence

The jury relies on evidence to determine a particular case. Thus, the prosecutor will prepare and present any evidence the police have gathered against you during and after an arrest. You also need to have sufficient evidence to fight what the prosecutor has.

However, gathering evidence in a DUI-related case is tricky. By recording all details, you can remember your arrest and what happened before the arrest. It will help your defense. Your lawyer can guide you into writing or recording this evidence in a way that it will be admissible in court.

Some DUI arrests are illegally made. If the police violated your rights or the law while arresting you, your lawyer could use that to have your charges dropped or reduced. For example, if the police did not read your Miranda rights or didn’t have probable cause to stop and arrest you for DUI. Remembering how the arrest was made could be the only chance you have of escaping a conviction.

Identify Potential Witness

To strengthen your case even more, you might need a witness account of what happened on the day or after your arrest. The court could be more convinced if someone else provides a testimony supporting your version of the day’s events. Potential witnesses could be people that were with you earlier before the arrest or those that were present during the arrest. For example, a witness could tell the court that you didn’t drink more than you should on that particular day. With the help of your attorney, your potential witnesses could write down or record a strong account that could strengthen your case.

The probability of the police going back to collect more evidence in a simple DUI case is low. They will rely on test results and any other evidence they might have gathered during the arrest. Having witness accounts as evidence will make your case more compelling than the prosecutor’s case.

Prepare for a Hearing

You need to be well-prepared for a DUI hearing if you don’t want to face the consequences of a conviction. Remember that a DUI conviction in California will affect several aspects of your life, including your finances and career.

First, you need to decide on the right plea to enter during the trial. The plea you enter determines the consequences you will face. For example, a guilty plea or a no-contest plea will take you straight to your sentence. If you choose a no guilty plea, the court will give you time to present your evidence and fight the prosecutor’s case.

Additionally, you need to know why you were arrested for DUI. The law requires the police to have probable cause when stopping and arresting drivers for DUI. Thus, you need to know the exact reason why you were stopped on that particular day. You may have been involved in an accident or had violated a traffic offense. Understanding the reason for your arrest might help you prepare well for defense.

Have all the documents ready. Your attorney will help you prepare and file all the documents needed at the hearing. Lack of preparedness could compromise your situation and cause you to lose the case.

Lastly, you must be financially and emotionally prepared for any outcome. There is no guarantee that the result will be in your favor. That is why you should be ready even for a conviction. Have your attorney explain to you all the consequences of a sentence, and then prepare for what you can do if you lose the case. This will make it easy for you to accept the verdict of the court.

Do Not Commit Another Offense

It will not help your situation if you get into trouble with the law when you already have a pending case in court. It will be easier to negotiate with the prosecutor for a favorable outcome when you do not have another pending criminal case. Thus, you must try not to get into trouble while awaiting trial. Your lawyer can use your staying out of trouble as a bargaining chip for favorable penalties with the judge.

Above all, remain patient throughout the legal process until the court concludes your case. A DUI case might drag on for months before it is resolved. Your attorney will need sufficient time to prepare evidence and documents required in court. He/she might also need to file several motions in court to obtain or suppress evidence before the hearing. You might have to engage an expert witness who can testify in your favor, which also takes time. Thus, you need to be patient and not commit a crime throughout that period.

Find a DUI Defense Attorney Near Me

If you face a DUI arrest in Los Angeles, it is vital to understand your options and the legal process. Then, you will know the steps to take to avoid a conviction. Having an experienced DUI attorney by your side will make this process easier. At Jonathan Franklin DUI Attorney, we are always prepared to make the process simpler for you. Call us at 323-464-6700 and let us discuss your case and options.

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Jonathan Franklin DUI Attorney
6777 Hollywood Blvd Ste 508
Los Angeles, CA 90028