How Does The DUI Court Work In San Mateo County?
In San Mateo County, there are two courthouses. There’s one in Redwood City and one in South San Francisco. Both courthouses handle misdemeanor DUI cases. When someone has multiple DUIs and they live in the area, typically they will end up in a DUI court. Once everything’s completed, if there’s been a no contest plea and sentencing, it would go to Redwood City. There’s a judge who is in charge of the DUI court, who monitors how people are doing while they’re on probation. The length that they’re in DUI court would be determined by how serious their case was and how they’re doing with their conditions of probation.
If someone has a second DUI, they would be arraigned. A few months later, they would have what’s called a pretrial conference. The attorney does their due diligence. If their attorney cannot make the case go away and the client decides not to go to a jury trial, then there would likely be a no contest plea. The case would be referred to the adult probation office for a report. That report would give the person’s background and would talk about their prior offenses and the type of self-help the person is doing. It talks about their work and how they’ve been complying with conditions of probation. The judge will consider the report and may sentence them to DUI court. That takes a penalty of well over $2,000 and knocks it down to a few hundred dollars.
Typically, people in DUI court are following the conditions of probation, which means going to their AA meetings, going to DUI School, paying their fines, and getting the interlock installed on their vehicles so that they can drive. They show up to DUI court. A lot of other counties don’t offer DUI court because they don’t want to spend the money on it. It means going back to court many times until the judge decides that you’ve shown enough proof to the court that you’re not going to be a problem. Then, they’ll let you out of DUI Court and you just complete the things you need to complete and show the probation court proof of it. Most second and third offenses go the DUI court route and it is problematic if you’re not willing to or able to comply with these probation conditions because then, you’re going to end up in jail.
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