There have been a series of blogs that have thoroughly gone through the rights a person has during their criminal case. As stated many times, there are important protections afforded to you by the United States Constitution, and these rights should be taken very seriously and waived after much consideration and caution.
The rights you have available to you during your Los Angeles DUI case are the same that are available to any other person going through a criminal case. A DUI is a criminal charge and therefore, the protections and rights that other people given are also extended to a person being charged with a DUI.
For a thorough discussion on each right available, refer to the Los Angeles Criminal blog.
Much like a criminal case, a person has the right to know their charge. The Judge must inform you of the full charge you are being charged with. Because it is a DUI case, the charge will generally be California Vehicle Code §23152 or 23153. There may also be an additional charge, such as a California Vehicle Code §20002, a Los Angeles Hit and Run.
You also have the right to reasonable bail. Oftentimes, a person charged with a DUI will be held in custody during their case. This will happen is there has been injury to a person, or if a person has a lengthy criminal record. If they are held in custody, the Judge will have the discretion to set bail. In setting bail the Judge will consider two important factors: 1) if the person is a flight risk, and 2) ifsthe person is a danger to society.
The person being charged also has a right to speedy trial. This means that the person has a right to trial within 30 days from the date of their arraignment if they are in custody. Additionally, if the person is not in custody then they have the right to have a trial within 45 days of their arraignment.
You also have the right to enter a plea. You will have the right to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest. You are the only one who has the right to decide what plea you will enter, no one can do it for you without your consent. This also means that a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney cannot enter a plea on your behalf without your consent. An experienced attorney will always discuss the plea with you before they appear in court and state it on the record.
A right to be sentenced by the Judge of the Court is also a right that you have. Your sentence should reflect the charges you have been charged with and must not exceed the maximum stated in the statue. The only exception is if you agree to a Harvey Waiver. A Harvey Waiver allows the court to sentence you based on a charge that has been dismissed.
These are just a few rights that you have. Your rights are important. Be sure to fully and carefully understand them so that you know what to expect as you go through your case.