The DUI Court Process
Bakersfield Lawyer Protecting Your Rights
There are two separate paths to your DUI charge. There is the actual criminal case and the DMV hearing regarding your license suspension or revocation. The DUI charge begins with your arrest. Law enforcement must observe erratic driving, speeding or some traffic violation that gives them "probable cause" before they can pull you over to discover whether you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You will be pulled over so that certain tests can be administered, sometimes including field sobriety tests as well as a blood alcohol concentration test (BAC), which may be breath test or a blood test.
You can refuse to do the field sobriety tests and any onsite breath test, but if you refuse the "evidentiary" BAC test, you could have an automatic license suspension of one year. If the law enforcement officer thinks he has probable cause to believe you were over the legal limit of .08% or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will be arrested and charged with DUI. You will be processed and either released on your own recognizance or put in jail until a judge is available.
A DMV hearing must be scheduled within 10 days of your arrest. If it is not requested, you will automatically have your license suspended, even if your license is from a different state. Your attorney can schedule and represent you at this hearing and can fight with certain evidence to waive the suspension or revocation of your driver's license.
Representation During the Entire Process
The next step is the arraignment, which is the hearing where you are formally charged and can enter a plea. It is strongly advised that you have an attorney assist you at your arraignment. If a bail amount is set, the attorney can possibly help you to have it reduced or negotiate a release on your own recognizance. In most cases, you will never need to even appear in court!
If you have entered a plea of "not guilty", the defense now begins. All aspects of your case must be reviewed. Did you know that breathalyzer tests are notorious for incorrectly registering the BAC level? Did you know that even the state recognizes that Field Sobriety Tests are extremely unreliable? These are aspects that must be reviewed as well as the "probable cause" aspect of your case.
Any possible court challenges must be prepared by your attorney. At Middlebrook & Associates, our attorney is experienced in all aspects of DUI defense and will fight aggressively in every possible area to defend you. If a trial becomes necessary, we will go the distance in your case to ensure the safeguard of your rights and future.