When you have been arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, there are many things that you must consider before appearing before a Criminal judge. One of the biggest things you must give thought to is whether you are going to hire a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer to represent you on your case.
If you are not a lawyer, you are not aware of all the options and defenses available to you and therefore you would not be able to make a fully informed decision as to your future. If you get a conviction on your record, it can potentially affect your future educational goals, as well as your employment.
If you decide to hire a lawyer, you should act on it immediately. There is a ten day deadline to setting a DMV hearing. If you do not set a DMV hearing, you automatically lose your driving privileges and your case will not be heard. If you are going to hire a legal professional to represent you at the DMV hearing, you want to be sure that the attorney’s office properly schedules the DMV within the statutory time limit and requests a stay on your driver’s license. You also want to be sure that the attorney is available on the date your DMV hearing gets scheduled, and therefore, it is best to have the attorney’s office to schedule it for you.
Additionally, you want to have an attorney prior to your first criminal court appearance. Your first appearance is called an Arraignment. The Arraignment is when you enter a plea of either guilty, not guilty, or no contest. The Judge does allow you to continue your arraignment if you are not ready to go forward, however the Judge usually only allows one continuance.
It is probably in your best interest not to use that continuance, if it is at all avoidable. The attorney generally continues the arraignment because they need time to review the discovery. At the arraignment is generally when the defense attorney will discuss with the Prosecutor what their initial offer for plea bargain is, and ask forsdiscovery. The reason the arraignment is continued is because the attorney wants time to review the discovery before entering a plea.
If a person appears before a judge prior to having an attorney, they must continue their case. Therefore, they have already used up their continuance and will not be able to continue it again.
If you are going to hire a criminal defense lawyer, it is best to act quickly and efficiently. This will ensure that the attorney has ample time to prepare for your case, has no scheduling conflicts, and is able to continue the case as they feel is necessary.