First Court Appearance
Your first appearance in California court is termed an Arraignment. An arraignment is the first time you appear in court when facing a misdemeanor or felony. The defendant is formally notified of the charges at the arraignment, and provided with a copy of the complaint filed by the district attorney with the court. Usually, on or about the date of the arraignment the initial discovery is available. A DUI attorney San Diego advised, this can include materials such as police reports, lab reports, witness statements, and other related materials. Our San Diego DUI homepage information advises that defendants with prior offenses should be aware that at the first appearance the judge may set bail or take the defendant into custody if he/she was on probation when the new offense occurred.
At your arraignment it is usually prudent to plead “not guilty”. A common misconception exists that pleading “not guilty” at an arraignment can upset the judge presiding over the case. Typically this is not true. It is absolutely necessary that you consult with an experienced attorney, who can provide you with experienced DUI information on whether to plead not guilty if charged with any sort of misdemeanor or felony offense.
Also, it is important to note that California has an Administrative Suspension Law. You will lose the right to challenge a suspension of your drivers license unless you submit a request for a hearing within ten days of service with the notice of suspension – which usually takes place on the date of the arrest. If you are being represented by a DUI Lawyer San Diego, you should have your attorney make the hearing appointment. It is important that you make sure an experienced attorney handles your hearing, as the hearings involve very technical rules of evidence. If you are not being charged with a court information in San Diego, your DUI lawyer San Diego may attend the court hearing for you. Click here if you need DUI information from a DUI lawyer San Diego probation violation.
For information on San Diego expungement – click here to read about our DUI team.
By Douglas Gilliland