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Bay Area Criminal Defense Blog

Beware of Driving To Court For A DUI

Posted by Lynn Gorelick | Jun 26, 2015 | 0 Comments

One of the first things to happen after a DUI arrest here in the East Bay, is the police will take away your driver's license. In exchange, you'll get an Order of Suspension and Temporary License. While you may be tempted to put away the pink piece of paper, a careful reading will show that your license will be automatically suspended after 30 unless you request an ALS hearing. However, you only have 10 days to file for a hearing! If you don't fight the ALS hearing, you may not be able to drive to court after your DUI, and if you are tempted to drive on a suspended license, the police might be waiting for you.

Law enforcement in Orange County realized they didn't have to go far to find people driving on a suspended license. Instead, they could just hang out at the Newport Beach courthouse and wait for unlawful drivers to come to them. The Orange County sheriff's deputies recently participated in a sting operation targeting DUI offenders who were caught driving away from the court after leaving on a suspended license.

The California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) can provide funding for such undercover operations. These stings are intended to act as a deterrent to keep suspended drivers off the road, and act as a further deterrent to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in California. An undercover officer in courtrooms where criminal arraignments for DUIs are conducted sends a message to a uniformed officer waiting in the parking lot. When the violator attempts to drive away, they are arrested.

This is not the first time California Sheriffs used this tactic to nab drivers on a suspended license. Last year, a similar sting operation was set up in Indio to catch drivers with revoked or suspended licenses leaving the Riverside County Courthouse. Waiting for drivers to exit the court, officers watched as the individuals got into their cars and drove away, only moments after being told by a judge that they temporarily lost their driving privileges. Palm Desert police officers were waiting in the wings to stop these drivers, and place them under arrest.

In 2011, 12 drivers were arrested in a similar DUI court sting in Walnut Creek. Contra Costa Sheriff's officers, conducted the operation with support from the police departments of Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Pleasant Hill and Danville. Motorcycle officers were waiting for the word from undercover officers who indicated a driver on a suspended license was heading out of the courthouse parking lot.

Driving on a suspended license after a DUI arrest will not just lead to another fine and some additional inconvenience. Getting caught driving on a revoked or suspended licence will violate the terms of DUI probation. This is a criminal offense may result in being ineligible for bail, and having their vehicle impounded for 30 days, in addition to extra costs and fines. If your license has been suspended, make sure you get a ride to court, or take public transportation. Don't risk driving without a license.

At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her professional legal career to defending people facing DUI charges in the East Bay. With more than 30 years of experience, Lynn Gorelick understands the local DUI and other criminal laws, and will make sure you get the justice you deserve. If you are facing a DUI, contact the local East Bay DUI defense attorney who understands that you do not have to plead guilty just because you were arrested.

About the Author

Lynn Gorelick

Lynn Gorelick has been an attorney for 30 years. She is the Attorney Lynn Gorelick is the President of the California DUI Lawyers Association and a Faculty and Sustaining member of the National College of DUI Defense.

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