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Los Angeles DUI Lawyer

DUI Court Process in California

Once you have been arrested for DUI and charged, your license will be suspended for 30 days pending your initial Hearing. Your DUI Court process will follow certain procedural steps that you best attend with a knowledgeable and experienced DUI defense attorney, to protect your rights. Below are the likely steps you will face during the DUI process.

Traffic Stop By Officer and DUI Checkpoint

The DUI process in Los Angeles or Southern California begins when one of the following occurs. A person is either pulled over for a traffic violation such as speeding or running a stop sign or red light, or enters a DUI sobriety checkpoint. In most cases, the Los Angeles DUI process occurs when the officer believes that a traffic offense has occurred and pulls the suspect over. Of course the officer uses this as an excuse to pull the person over and by no means do these violations only occur by a person under the influence. When this occurs, the officer then will claim that they are noticing objective symptoms of intoxication. These symptoms include watery eyes, a smell of alcohol about the person, and slurred speech. If you are stopped by a member of law enforcement a DUI in Los Angeles, please call Los Angeles DUI Defense Attorney Michael Kraut for a free consultation.

In the past number of years, DUI checkpoints have become more popular as a tool for arresting people for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Over the past several years DUI checkpoints have gone through many legal challenges. Due to these challenges, DUI checkpoints are now very tightly controlled by the courts. Law enforcement must adhere to very strict rules when setting up and operating a checkpoint. The Supreme Court of California has ruled that if the police do not follow the law, then the case can be thrown out. An top notch, former prosecutor and experienced DUI defense attorney such a Michael Kraut will be able to attack the validity of the stop.

Often times the police will tell someone when they arrest a person for a DUI that they had a right to pull the person over and conduct the tests, such as field sobriety testsblood tests and breath tests. This is not completely true. The probable cause for the stop is often what can be attacked first in a court of law. The procedures used by the police to conduct the checkpoint stop are very detailed and clear cut. The procedures are set forth as follows:

  1. Police supervisors must make the determination for when and where the checkpoint will be set up.
  2. The police officers must comply with strict standards established. The policy must detail how often and in what random order a vehicle can be pulled over to a secondary inspection point. 
  3. The Supreme Court states that there must be numerous safeguards in the checkpoint. The police must install signs warning of the impending checkpoint prior to entering.
  4. The checkpoint must be located at a reasonable spot with notice of the checkpoint.
  5. The time of the traffic stop  must have a defined time period that it will be operated. Most checkpoints are at night on side roads, however, in some cases, the checkpoint maybe on a main road in a city blocking traffic for hours.
  6. The warning signs at the checkpoint must be clear and create a visible indication of the proper authority that any stop is authorized.
  7. The time of the detention must be limited in duration so that the length of the intrusion on the driver is minimal and the safety of the driver, as well as other motorists, is not jeopardized by traffic jams.
  8. The courts have indicated that, while not a requirement, the checkpoints should be publicized in advance.

DMV Hearing - Must be scheduled within ten days after you have received your notice of suspension and temporary driver's license, following  your arrest. This hearing should be done in person, with your attorney present, so that your representative can question the police officer and obtain as much information as possible to defend you. This hearing is for fighting the charges against your license suspension only, not the criminal charges that must also be defended.

Arraignment - The arraignment is your first court appearance for the DUI criminal charges and should normally be the next business day after your arrest. Your attorney may appear on your behalf, depending on the circumstances. At this appearance you should plead not guilty. This appearance is mainly a formality. You will be able to get a copy of your police report as well as any other evidence against you and a date for pre-trial will be scheduled.  At this point the court will schedule the date and your lawyer should plan your defense strategy.

Pre-trial and Motion Hearing - The pre-trial conference or hearing is where your attorney first sits down with the prosecution and goes over the case.  All evidence is reviewed and some of it may be challenged through motions to suppress  presented by your attorney. Depending on the statements and evidence that your attorney has been able to gather for your defense, they may offer you a deal which can be accepted or rejected.  If no deal is made to either dismiss the charges or reduce them, then the case will go to trial. The prosecution must provide all the evidence against you that your attorney has requested at this time.  If your attorney will be taking this to court, he will likely review all details of the arrest with you at that point.

Trial - Fortunately, only 5% of cases actually go to trial. Most are resolved prior to this step. If you do go to trial, your case will be heard before either a judge or a jury. Both sides, your attorney and the prosecutor will present the evidence, witnesses will be cross examined and the attorneys will make their arguments. Going to trial is ultimately a decision that is up to you, with the advice of your attorney.

Sentencing - If you win the case, then charges will be dismissed or you will be sentenced if found guilty.  If you are convicted, our office will help you through the steps and make arrangements with probation. An experienced attorney from the firm will explain the entire process to you so you'll understand what you'll need to do.

Aggressive DUI Defense Attorney in LA

If you have a strong legal counsel representing you on your DUI charges, you have an opportunity to win the charges against you. With the contacts Attorney Kraut has established in the criminal justice system due to his 14 years experience as a Deputy District Attorney, you can feel confident you have someone who knows how best to defend you. His firm has an outstanding success rate when defending our clients against criminal charges.

Don't risk your license and a DUI conviction, contact a Los Angeles DUI Attorney at the Kraut Law Group to fight your charges!

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