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Martinez DUI Court Appearance

Martinez is the county seat of Contra Costa County. Most drivers who are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) in Martinez will not have to go far for their first court appearance. However, proximity to the court does not necessarily mean anyone who lives in Martinez will be any more prepared for their first court appearance. This is one reason why it is a good idea to have an experienced Contra Costa DUI defense lawyer by your side to help you through the process. 

Court Notice After a DUI Arrest in Martinez 

A DUI arrest in Martinez may involve the Martinez Police Department, Contra Costa County Sheriff, Lafayette Police, Walnut Creek Police, or  Danville Police.

Martinez Police Department 
525 Henrietta Street
Martinez, CA 94553
925-372-3440

Contra Costa County Sheriff
651 Pine Street #7
Martinez, CA 94553
925-335-1500

During processing, law enforcement officers will generally provide the driver with some important information, including a notice of the arraignment and a temporary driver's license. The notice may provide the time and date for the arraignment, or first court appearance. 

After an arrest, the driver's license will be taken away and the driver will be given a piece of paper that acts as a temporary license. The driver has only 10 days after an arrest to request an administrative per se license suspension (APS) hearing to challenge the administrative suspension. This is separate from the criminal case and is done through the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). 

Arraignment Hearing After Arrest

The arraignment is a short hearing where the judge reads the criminal charges against the accused and asks for a response to the charges. This is not the time to challenge the arrest or argue why you are innocent. This is a simple “guilty” or “not guilty” pleading. If the accused admits guilt, then the case will go to sentencing. If the accused responds “not guilty,” the case will generally be put off to another hearing. 

The arraignment is short but it is important that the accused appears on time and responds appropriately. If you have hired an attorney before your arraignment, they can often appear without you. If you are not sure how you want to plead, make sure you talk to your DUI attorney before the arraignment. Generally, your East Bay DUI lawyer will be able to show up for the arraignment so you do not have to. This will save you time and avoid having to take a day off of work to wait around at the court. 

Appearing in Person for a Martinez DUI

If you plan to represent yourself for your arraignment, make sure you arrive with plenty of time. The judge will likely hear a lot of cases before and after your arraignment and will not likely listen to any excuses if you are late or could not make it. Arrive with plenty of time to account for traffic, parking, going through security, and finding the right courtroom. 

If you cannot appear in court, you must contact the court as soon as possible to request a different date, which will be up to the court whether to allow or not. Alternatively, you can contact your lawyer who will be able to either request a different court date or appear on your behalf so you do not have to. 

If you do not show up to court on the date and time for your arraignment, the court may issue a failure to appear (FTA). An FTA could result in additional penalties and a warrant for your arrest. Even if you simply forgot about the arraignment or mixed up the dates, a bench warrant means the police will be able to pull you over for a traffic ticket and place you under arrest. 

Court Appearance in Martinez

Most misdemeanor DUIs in Contra Costa County will be heard in Martinez. The first court hearing, your arraignment, may be heard at the A.F. Bray Courthouse. Other hearings or trials may be held in the Wakefield Taylor Courthouse. The two courthouses are across the street from each other in downtown Martinez. Make sure you go to the right courthouse for your DUI court appearance.

A.F. Bray Courthouse

1020 Ward Street
Martinez, CA 94553
Phone: 925-608-1000

Wakefield Taylor Courthouse

725 Court Street
Martinez, CA 94553
Phone: 925-608-1000

Business Hours: 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday (excluding court holidays)

Parking: There is metered street parking in Martinez but some parking meters are limited to 2-hours, which may not be enough time for your initial arraignment. Private parking is also available for a fee. 

 Public Transportation: The Martinez Amtrak train station stop is about a 10-minute walk from the courthouse. There are also several bus lines that serve the downtown Martinez area. 

Contact Your Martinez DUI Defense Lawyer Today

Contra Costa County DUI attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 35 years of DUI experience and understands the consequences for California drivers. Lynn Gorelick is familiar with the local DUI laws in Martinez and the local officers and D.A.s involved. Contact East Bay DUI lawyer Lynn Gorelick today.

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