Whether you are a resident of Alameda or out having a drink with friends at a bar in the Historic Park Street District, the police are always on the lookout for possibly impaired drivers. Especially in the evening to early morning hours and on the weekends, law enforcement is trained to look for signs of impairment and minor traffic infractions to warrant a traffic stop.
Even if you feel fine, a breathalyzer, field sobriety tests or even the police officer's assessment of your sobriety may be the basis for a drunk driving arrest. An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) in California is the first time many people have had to deal with the criminal justice system.
The simplest way to deal with a first time DUI court appearance is to call an East Bay DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible so you understand the process and will have an advocate to represent you and fight for your rights.
East Bay DUI lawyer Lynn Gorelick, can answer all your questions about your first DUI court appearance in Alameda. After reviewing the following information, feel free to contact Lynn Gorelick for help with your DUI and find out what you can do to fight the criminal charges and keep your record clear.
First Court Appearance or Arraignment
The first court appearance after an arrest is generally the “arraignment.” The arraignment is a relatively quick appearance where the court reads the formal charges against the accused (defendant). The defendant then pleads guilty or not guilty.
If you plead guilty, then the court may immediately go to sentencing. If you respond not guilty, your case will be scheduled for a later date. This will give you time to prepare your case, find a lawyer, or decide if you want to accept a plea deal.
If you call an East Bay DUI defense lawyer before your arraignment, an attorney may be able to appear on your behalf so you don't have to take time off of work to wait around at the courthouse. Contact your lawyer as soon as possible after an arrest to make sure you have someone on your side at the arraignment.
Courthouse for First DUI in Alameda
The Alameda County Trial Courts were unified to form the Alameda County Superior Court. Any of the Alameda County criminal courts can handle a first DUI case but most first-time DUIs that occur in the City of Alameda will be heard at the criminal courthouse in Oakland, California.
The courthouse is on Washington Street, between 6th and 7th Streets, right next to the 880 freeway in downtown Oakland.
Parking: There is a parking garage on the corner of 7th Street and Jefferson Street, with the entrance off of 7th Street. Limited metered parking may be available on nearby streets.
Public Transportation: The closest BART station is 12th Street/Oakland City Center (.4 miles away). This BART station is on the Yellow, Red, and Orange lines. A number of AC Transit bus lines also serve the downtown Oakland area.
Showing Up On Time to Court
If you don't have a lawyer show up for you to your arraignment, you have to make sure to appear in court on the date of your arraignment. If you are not able to make it that day, you have to contact the court ahead of time to ask for a change of your court date. If you fail to appear in court, the judge may issue a “failure to appear” (FTA), which could lead to additional penalties and a warrant for your arrest.
Alameda Police or CHP Arrest for a DUI
Most drivers who are arrested for a DUI in Alameda are stopped by the Alameda Police Department or the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The Alameda Police Department is located at:
Alameda Police Department
1555 Oak Street
Alameda, CA 94501
Phone: (510) 337-8340
If a family member or loved one is arrested by Alameda Police, call an experienced DUI lawyer who is familiar with Alameda DUIs and they will be able to find out where the person was booked, where they are being held, and when they may be released.
Contact Your Alameda DUI Defense Lawyer As Soon As Possible
In addition to the criminal case, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will suspend your driving privileges after a DUI arrest, even before you are convicted. You only have 10 days to request a DMV hearing to challenge the administrative suspension. Your DUI lawyer will be able to request a hearing and challenge the suspension so you can keep your driving privileges.
East Bay attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 35 years of DUI experience and understands the repercussions for California drivers after a DUI arrest. Representing drivers in Alameda County, Lynn Gorelick is familiar with the local DUI laws, and the local officers and prosecutors involved. Contact East Bay DUI lawyer Lynn Gorelick today.