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Pasadena, California DUI Defense Attorneys

The DUI Arrest

A DUI begins with an arrest on suspicion of drunk driving. Under the law, an officer must have reasonable suspicion to pull a car over. Essentially, this means there must be some observable reason to suspect a law has been broken or a driver is driving drunk. Typically, erratic driving behavior, swerving, or having difficulty staying in a lane provides an officer with reasonable suspicion to pull someone over. If an officer smells alcohol or has reason to believe a driver has been drinking, he or she may then conduct a field sobriety test. The field sobriety test provides an officer with probable cause to make an arrest: if you cannot perform certain basic tasks, an officer has legal grounds to ask you to submit to a chemical test and arrest you if you refuse.

Held in Custody after a DUI Arrest – The Arraignment Process

After being arrested, your car will be impounded and you will be placed in jail. You may be required to post bail or sign a general recognizance bond. If you are required to post bail, a judge will determine the amount after reviewing the circumstances of your arrest and your criminal record. If held in custody, your arraignment will take place within 48 to 72 hours of your arrest. If arrested on a Friday or the weekend, you could spend an extra day in jail.

You will then appear before a judge at which time he or she will advise you of your charges and ask you to enter a plea of “guilty” or “not guilty.” During your arraignment, your attorney should be given a copy of relevant police reports and breathalyzer or blood test results.

The DMV Hearing

In California, the arresting officer will confiscate a driver’s license at the time of an arrest for drunk driving. The driver should be given a pink slip of paper that functions as a temporary license. This temporary license, the “Suspension Order and Temporary License,” also indicates your driver’s license will be automatically suspended within 30 days unless a the matter is resolved through a DMV hearing. After your arrest, you have 10 calendar days to request a DMV hearing.

Once your hearing is scheduled, the automatic suspension of your license is postponed until the outcome of your hearing. You can request a phone hearing or a live hearing. At the live hearing, you can introduce witnesses and have a lawyer accompany you. The officer who arrested you can be called and interviewed and the results of the chemical test challenged. After hearing your case, the DMV hearing officer will decide whether or not your license should be suspended.

DUI Pretrial Motions and Plea Bargains

Pretrial motions can be submitted at an arraignment or after you’ve had an opportunity to hire an attorney. During pretrial motions a request can be made to dismiss the charges against you, suppress certain kinds of evidence, or demand access to the state’s evidence against you. Here, your attorney can argue your car stop was unconstitutional, that the field sobriety test was not administered correctly, or the breathalyzer used should be tested. This process may take several weeks or several months, depending on the issues involved.

During the pretrial hearing, a prosecutor may offer a plea bargain in order to avoid going to trial. The offer may require you to plead guilty in exchange for a reduction in the charges against you or may require you to perform additional hours of community service in lieu of jail. Our lawyers can review the case against you and determine if a plea bargain is in your best interests.

The DUI Trial

In the state of California, a drunk driving trial date must occur within 10 days of the trial date specified by the court. In order to ensure your rights are not violated, if the trial does not start within at least 10 days of your trial date, the charges against you must be dismissed. When the case begins, the prosecutor and your defense attorney will go through a jury selection process in order to choose a 12 member jury to hear your case. Once your trial starts, the prosecution will present its case. Your attorney will have an opportunity to cross-exam arresting officers, lab technicians, and question other evidence against you.

After the presentation of the evidence and arguments, the jury will consider the evidence against you and decide whether you should be found guilty or not guilty. In order to be found guilty, all 12 jurors must return a verdict of “guilty.” If found guilty, the judge will then determine the sentence against you.

Contact DUI Attorneys at Khalaf & Khalaf

If you’ve been arrested for DUI and are interested in learning what you can do to avoid losing your license, paying expensive fines, or spending time in jail, contact DUI attorneys at Khalaf & Khalaf today.

Khalaf & Khalaf
33 South Catalina Avenue
Suite 202
Pasadena, California 91106

Toll Free: (888) 700 - 0066
Office: (626) 486 - 0166
Fax: (626) 486 - 0218
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The Pasadena, CA law firm of Khalaf & Khalaf serves clients in Los Angeles County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, & Orange County; and the citites of Torrance, San Fernando, Alhambra, Bellflower, Victorville, Long Beach, Burbank, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Moreno Valley, Glendale, South Pasadena, Alta Dena, Santa Clarita and throughout Southern California.