This page is an action plan for anyone who had the unfortunate experience of getting arrested for a DUI over the New Year's holiday. Below you will find important information and deadlines to help you avoid the most costly mistakes after a drunk driving arrest. After reviewing the information, if you have any questions or need help taking care of your DUI, contact Lynn Gorelick as soon as possible.
Time Line After a Drunk Driving Arrest in Contra Costa or Alameda County
Here is a sample timeline of what happens after a drunk driving arrest in Contra Costa County or Alameda County. This is a general guideline and your dates and individual experience may vary. Contact your DUI defense lawyer with any questions.
- Day 1: Arrest and booking, take away your license
- Day 1-3: Release from jail
- Before Day 10: You must request a DMV hearing or your license will be suspended
- Day 30: Your license will be suspended if you did not request a DMV hearing before Day 10
- 5 or more weeks: If you requested a DMV hearing, your DMV hearing may be scheduled out a few weeks after the request. It may get delayed or have multiple hearings, and could take months. Generally, your license will not be suspended before the outcome of the administrative hearing.
- 1 to 2 months: Initial court hearings
- 3 to 6 months: The whole DUI case generally finishes. However, in a more complex case, it could go on for a year or more.
The First Call You Should Make
After an arrest and booking, you will make your first court appearance as part of the “arraignment.” This is where the judge will read formal DUI charges and you have to respond “guilty” or “not guilty.” How should you respond when you haven't had the chance to talk to a lawyer? You should put off any major decisions until you have talked to your lawyer.
If you respond “guilty,” you will be sentenced and that will be the end of your case. If you respond “not guilty,” your case will be scheduled for a future hearing. This will give you the chance to call an experienced East Bay DUI defense lawyer with experience handling DUI cases in the Alameda or Contra Costa courthouses.
In most misdemeanor DUI cases (1st DUI, 2nd DUI, marijuana DUI, etc.), the defendant will be released on their own reconnaissance. If there are more serious charges, or multiple criminal charges, you may be required to post bail to get out of jail.
Keep Your License While Your Wait
After an arrest and booking, the police will generally take away your license and give you a temporary permit. The temporary license is only good for 30 days, unless you request a hearing. The temporary license can be confusing because most people focus on the 30 day limit. However, reading all the fine print will show you that you only have 10 days to request a DMV hearing. If you wait 11 days, it will be too late to get a hearing and your license will be administratively suspended after 30 days.
Requesting a DMV administrative per se (APS) hearing will not only give you a chance to keep your license, it will also extend the time that you can keep driving before the hearing is decided. Without an APS hearing, your driving privileges will be suspended after 30 days. With a hearing, you may end up keeping your driving privileges for a couple of months, and if the hearing and criminal case are successful, you'll have no loss of driving privileges.
Don't Wait Until the Last Minute to Call a DUI Lawyer
Don't wait until the last minute to call a DUI lawyer. Time is of the essence. You only have 10 days after your arrest to fight to keep your license. The reality is that most people put off making that important phone call until the last minute.
A last minute call is still better than trying to handle it on your own. If you have your court hearing tomorrow morning, you can still reach out for help. Your East Bay DUI lawyer may still be able to help and can ask the court for additional time to review your case. With so much hanging over your head after an arrest, including possible jail time and loss of your license, make the call sooner rather than later.
Experience Matters in DUI Cases
Lynn Gorelick has been an attorney for over 37 years. Attorney Lynn Gorelick is also the Past President of the California DUI Lawyers Association. In the specialized field of DUI defense, experience matters and she is committed to the protection of your rights. Contact the local DUI defense lawyer who understands that you do not have to lose your rights just because you were arrested.