As you may now know, being arrested for a DUI in San Jose can result in two separate and independent hearings. The District Attorney’s office will review the information the police gathered at the time of your arrest and they will make an independent decision as to whether or not they will proceed with the criminal case. If a criminal case is filed, it will be handled through the Superior Court.
In San Jose, California because you have been arrested under the suspicion of drunk driving your license will automatically be suspended by the DMV if you do not request a hearing within ten days of your arrest. The DMV will conduct its own administrative hearing regardless of the outcome of any criminal charges against you.
If criminal charges are filed against you, your initial appearance is called an Arraignment. An Arraignment will be conducted in both misdemeanor and felony DUI cases. At this point the complaint will be read into record and you will presented with a copy of it as well. The complaint is the formal legal document filed by the District Attorney’s office detailing the charges they have filed against you.
You will be offered the opportunity to enter your initial plea at the Arraignment. You may see people enter both “guilty” and “not guilty” pleas at this point. While it is true that the plea you enter has a strategic impact on your case, it is important to consult with an attorney to come up with the right approach for your case. Entering a plea of “guilty” when it is not appropriate will not necessarily help you gain the respect of the judge or get a lighter sentence. On the other hand entering a plea of “not guilty” when a good offer is on the table will not help you either.
If you have a prior conviction the judge may set your bail at this point in time or you may be taken into custody if this arrest is a violation of the terms of your probation. If you need probation violation information from our San Jose DUI attorney we can provide that information to you by clicking here.
Finally, around this point the details of the discovery are made accessible to you. Discovery is the legal term that refers to all of the evidence the police and District Attorney have gathered in their case against you. Discovery can include:
• Lab reports
• Police reports
• Statements from witnesses
• Other materials relating to the case
San Jose DUI Process
In addition to any criminal charges, in California after your DUI arrest you are subject to the “Administrative Per Se (APS)” or “on-the-spot” license suspension law. This means that your license is automatically suspended for four months for a first offense unless you request an administrative hearing within the 10 days after your arrest. It is important to use a competent DUI attorney because these hearings are very technical and an experienced lawyer may be your best tool in fighting the suspension. Because this hearing is independent of the criminal process your DUI lawyer can go the court hearing on your behalf even if you are not being charged with a DUI in San Jose.
It is important to remember that no two DUI cases are exactly the same and having a custom strategy, developed with a seasoned DUI attorney is the best way to minimize the impact of the DUI charges on the rest of your life. If you have to find out about San Jose expungement, click here to contact our San Jose DUI attorneys.
By Leonard H Burgess