What Happens After Your DUI Arrest? How Can A Lawyer Help You?
Interviewer: What happens to the person after a test is over? Is he or she sitting in a jail cell overnight,waiting to bail out?
Aaron: Well, most of my clients sitting in jail waiting to get out will get released. In most counties they do not require someone to post bail. Some counties hold them a lot longer than others, but usually they get released.
Some counties, such as Sonoma County or Marin County, will require bail. If you are not from this area, from far away or from another state, a lot of counties often will require you to post a bail.
This is because they want to make sure you are going to come back. If you do not bail, they will eventually either release you or take you to court. At that point, a judge will usually ROR you, release you on your own recognizance.
Interviewer: Once you are released, or right before you are released, are you asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty?
Aaron: Yes, after or at your release you will be given paperwork and a court date. You hire a lawyer, and the lawyer goes to court for you the first time. In most cases, we do not usually need our client at the first court appearance.
In some counties, in some cases, we do. It just depends on what is going on with the case and which county you are in. We enter a plea of not guilty, and we begin fighting your case. We usually go through a discovery process where we gather evidence to try and win your case.
Interviewer: You have ten days to request a hearing to protect your license. When do you go to court and enter a plea of not guilty? When do you hire a lawyer to start working for you?
Aaron: The plea of not guilty is made at your first court date. It is not made at your release.
At that moment, it is called an arraignment. Some counties like San Francisco have you in court usually within two weeks of your arrest, or less. In other counties, you are usually in court in a month or two.
You hire a lawyer. The lawyer goes to court and enters a not guilty plea. The lawyer gets to discover the police report and the machine results. Once we have that we are able to start requesting additional records, maintenance logs, station logs, calibration records of the machine, and records of the breath test and the machines used.
We can request blood retests and get investigators. Sometimes we get an investigator right after a client hires us. This is because immediate investigation is needed. There may be a witness we need to talk to. There may be an accident scene or vehicles that need to be photographed.
There are a lot of things that can happen immediately. In most cases, we do not need that immediate investigator going out there. However, at some point, especially if a case is going to trial, we want to get out ourselves and view the scene.
We want to get a real good lay of the land so we know what we are dealing with. It is much easier to argue a case if you have seen where it happened.
There are a lot of different things we do when getting started on a case. One we talked about before is requesting a hearing with the DMV.
By Aaron Bortel
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