A drunk driving arrest may be the first time you are arrested, put in a police car, booked into jail, and given a notice to appear in court. This can all be very overwhelming but a quick phone call can help put you at ease. Even though it may be your first time going to court, an experienced DUI defense lawyer has been to hundreds of court appearances.
East Bay DUI defense lawyer Lynn Gorelick, can answer all your questions about your first DUI court appearance in Livermore or anywhere in Alameda County. After reviewing this 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 is generally the “arraignment.” The arraignment is the formal reading of the charges against you. For most people arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), the court will read off the relevant California Vehicle Code violations and ask how you wish to plead. If you plead guilty, the case is over and you will be sentenced.
The arraignment is not the time when you present your case, argue your defenses, or state why you should not be convicted. If you respond not guilty, your case will be scheduled for a later date. If you are not sure what to do, you can respond “not guilty,” to give you time to decide what you want to do.
In most situations for a first-time DUI or other misdemeanor charge, your attorney may be able to appear on your behalf. If your attorney can appear on your behalf, you will not have to take time off of work or school to come down to the courthouse or wait around with everyone else until your name is called. Talk to your East Bay DUI defense attorney about the options available in your case and what you need to know about your first court appearance.
Going to Court After Your Driving Privileges are Suspended
It should go without saying that if your license is suspended after a DUI you should not drive to the courthouse for any court appearances. In general, if you do not request a DMV hearing to challenge the administrative license suspension, your driving privileges will be suspended after 30 days from the date of the arrest. If you drive to the courthouse in violation of your license suspension, the sheriff's officers may arrest you for driving on a suspended license.
Courthouse for Livermore DUI Appearances
The Alameda County Trial Courts were unified to form the Alameda County Superior Court. There are a number of courthouses that can handle DUI cases in Alameda County, but most Livermore DUI arrests will be heard at the East County Hall of Justice in Dublin, California.
East County Hall of Justice
5151 Gleason Drive
Dublin, California 94568
The courthouse is located off Gleason Drive, between Arnold Road and Madigan Road, in Dublin. The court is located across from the Santa Rita Jail. To get to the East County Hall of Justice by car, take the Hacienda Drive exit north from the 580 freeway.
Parking: There is a free parking lot next to the courthouse, with an entrance off of Gleason Drive.
Public Transportation: The East County Hall of Justice is about 1 ½ miles from the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART station. A number of bus lines serve the area, including the Tri-Valley Wheels Bus Route 1 from the BART station to the Hall of Justice.
Appearing in Person On Your Court Date
If you do not contact a lawyer before your arraignment, you will have to appear in court in person on the date of your hearing. You cannot ask someone else to show up for you. A friend or parent will not be able to represent you in court. The only people who can represent you in court, under California law, is yourself or a licensed attorney.
If you cannot make it on the court date, you need to contact the court as soon as possible to request a change of your court date. If you fail to appear in court, the judge may issue a “failure to appear” (FTA). An FTA could lead to additional penalties and a warrant for your arrest.
If you live out of state or got a DUI when visiting the East Bay, contact your DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible to make arrangements for dealing with your DUI arrest while out of state. Your DUI defense attorney may be able to appear for your arraignment on your behalf. Your attorney may also be able to work out any in-person appearances to minimize the inconvenience to your life when dealing with criminal charges in a different state.
Physical Appearance for Court
It may not seem like it should matter but the way you look and act can have an impact on your case. The courtroom is a formal setting and judges want to know that you are taking the criminal charges seriously. Showing up in a dirty T-shirt and shorts may not go very far in presenting a professional image to the court. It can also help to address the court in a formal manner, listening to the judge's instructions and addressing the judge as “judge” or “your honor,” regardless of how you feel about the courts.
Arrest and Booking in Livermore
Drivers who are arrested in Livermore for driving under the influence or drug DUI may have been arrested by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) or the Livermore Police Department. The Livermore Police Department is located at:
Livermore Police Department
1110 South Livermore Ave
Livermore, CA 94550
Phone: (925) 371-4900
If a family member or loved one was arrested in Livermore for a DUI, you may be able to find out about where they are being held by contacting the Livermore Police Department or the Santa Rita Jail. Most people are released within 24 hours of a DUI arrest, depending on when the arrest occurred. Because most DUIs happen on the weekends and during the evening, it is common that the individual will have to spend the night in jail before being released the next day.
Call an experienced DUI lawyer who is familiar with Livermore DUIs and they will be able to get started on the case as soon as possible, to get a family member released, appear for them in court, and request a DMV hearing to prevent an automatic license suspension after a DUI arrest.
Contact Your East Bay DUI Defense Lawyer As Soon As Possible
There is a limited amount of time to contact a lawyer before the arraignment. Calling a lawyer before your court date can save you the time and hassle of having to take time away from your busy life to show up and wait around at the county courthouse.
East Bay attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 30 years of DUI experience and understands the consequences 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.