Articles Posted in Arraignment

A Los Angeles DUI Lawyer is incredibly important to your case. In fact, it is probably the single best thing you could do for yourself after you have been arrested and charged for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

The sooner you contact a legal professional after your Los Angeles DUI arrest, the better you will be. There are certain deadlines that need to be met right away. For example, a DMV hearing must be scheduled directly with the DMV within ten days of your arrest. This does not happen automatically. The DMV having concerns your driving privileges and is separate and independent of your criminal case. If you do not timely schedule a hearing, you will automatically lose your driving privileges without the opportunity to present your case. A Los Angeles DUI lawyer will be aware of these deadlines and will take swift action to ensure they are met and your rights are protected.

In addition, the attorneys like those at Hoffman & Associates have years of experience in the courts of Los Angeles. They know the Judges, the clerks, the prosecutors and the deputies. They are able to predict the offer that will be made based upon the Judge and the prosecutor handling the case. This is crucial information because it will allow the lawyer to make a good decision on your behalf as to what entering a plea will be in your best interest. Sometimes, entering a plea of guilty is beneficial if the facts of your case are no int your favor, and the attorney knows that a better offer might not be made. However, on the other hand, the attorney will also know that a plea of not guilty is the best strategy for your case so that you find yourself at trial, or at Pre Trial, where negotiations might be more fruitful. This is the type of strategy that comes with years of experience and personal and direct knowledge of the Courtroom and the players involved.

If you have been arrested for a Los Angeles DUI, remember that you have not yet been convicted.  An arrest simply means that there is a reasonable suspicion that you have committed a criminal offense, it does not mean you are guilty. You can only be convicted one of two ways, by pleading guilty, or by being found guilty in a court of law by a jury. However, even with an arrest, there are several very important steps you have to take immediately to ensure that you have the best possible results.

  1. Check your Citation

When you are arrested you will be given a citation. This citation will state the charge against you, and the time and date upon which your Arraignment will be. This court appearance is not optional, it is absolutely mandatory. Failure to appear at this court date can result in a bench warrant out for your arrest, and/or an additional charge to the charge you are appearing for in the first place. Make sure you calendar this appearance date, it is important and make a note of the Court in which you will be required to appear. Also check the penal code or vehicle code section under which you are being charged. This will define whether it is a misdemeanor or felony, and what you are being charged with.

When you are facing criminal charges it is highly recommended that you speak to a Los Angeles lawyer who specializes in DUIs. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney will be well versed in available defenses, in arguments to be made, and what the most effective strategy would be.

Without an attorney, you would not know if you had a defense available. If there is a strong defense that will work in your favor, that could mean your entire case could be dismissed or in the very least dismissed.

At your first court appearance, the arraignment, the prosecutor will offer a plea bargain. A plea bargain is generally offers a complete sentence in exchange for your guilty plea without going to trial. Most laypersons are not going to know what is a good offer, and what offer is not beneficial to them given the facts of their case. An attorney who has had experience will know when to accept and offer and when to say no, and proceed to trial. You need someone that has that expertise to provide you with guidance.

If you have been arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, you have not yet been found guilty by the Court of law. This means that it has not yet gone on your record, and it will not unless Prosecutors can show that all of the elements of a DUI have been met beyond a reasonable doubt. There are two elements in a DUI; 1) the driver must be intoxicated and 2) the driver must be operating a vehicle. If both elements are not met, beyond a reasonable doubt, then the person cannot be found guilty.

There are a few ways a DUI case can play out. You can either enter a plea or be found either guilty or not guilty through trial. Lets consider the following factual hypothetical background, and then discuss the two different options a case can have.

Dina is driving home from a friend’s birthday party. She has had two beers and has smoked marijuana with her friends. On her way home, she runs a red light and is immediately stopped by officers. Officers ask if she has been drinking, to which Dina replies that she has, but has only had two beers. She also submits to a breathalyzer test, and blows a .10 BAC. She is arrested, and taken into custody.

When you have been arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, you will be given a citation. The citation will state the courthouse and the date upon which you must appear. This first appearance is called an Arraignment. Several things will happen at the Arraignment. Each of these things are very important, and it is highly recommended that you have a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer present so that you have the right advice and support in any of the decisions you make.

  1. Offered a Plea Bargain

What is a plea bargain? A plea bargain is essentially an offer made by the Prosecution. Sometimes the offer is a reasonable one, and in your best interest. However, on other occasions it is one that you must pass on and move forward to the Pre Trial appearance, which is the next court appearance. Unless you are a legal expert with thirty years of experience, as well as knowledge of the Judges, and courthouse, it is very difficult to determine whether an offer is a good one or not. Let’s consider an example.

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Many of our clients are talking to several different attorneys when they come meet with us. Unlike many other attorneys out office offers a free consultation with no obligations. The result is that when you come and talk to us, you are under no pressure to retain our office, nor are you required to pay anything when you visit us.

We take the time to talk to you about your case. About the different facts, the things that make your case unique, as well as your available defenses and arguments. This helps give you a good idea as to the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and the potential outcomes. While we cannot guarantee an outcome or predict how the case will turn out, we can give you a good idea as to how your case will be presented.

We are able to offer a realistic idea as to the potential consequences and outcome of your case because of the extensive experience our attorneys have. This can make a very big difference to your case. Many Los Angeles DUI attorneys are vey educated and reasonably priced, however, that is not always enough to win the case.

When you have been stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence, you have not yet been convicted. Chances are you were arrested, and charged under California Vehicle Code §23152 or 23153. These are the California DUI statutes. You have yet to be found guilty of these charges before you can be convicted.

At the time of arrest you will be given a citation. This citation will state the date of your first court appearance and the courthouse at which you must appear. This is not optional, there is no mail in plea option, it is mandatory. Failure to appear at this court date or prior to that court date can result in a warrant out for your arrest and additional charges or sentences. It is a good idea to be present in court the day you are required to be. If you hire a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer, that lawyer may appear on your behalf as long as it is not a felony. In most DUI cases, a lawyer is allowed to appear on behalf of the person being charged. This is a great benefit because it saves you the time, hassle and trouble. It is a very anxiety provoking event and most people would rather not have to address it or deal with it.

That first date on your citation is called an Arraignment. At the arraignment you will be read your rights, potential sentences against you, the charges and you will be asked if you would like to enter a plea. You will also have the opportunity to speak to a prosecutor who will give you a plea bargain, or an offer as an incentive for you to plead guilty and resolve your case right then and there.

When you are first pulled over and arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, you will be given a citation notice that states a day and time, as well as a courthouse. This is your arraignment date. On the arraignment date, the Court will explain the charges against you, the possible penalties and will ask you if you wish to enter a plea at that time. At your arraignment, you will also have the opportunity to speak to a public defender, ask for a continuance to hire an attorney, and also be given a plea bargain from the Prosecutor.

A lot happens at an Arraignment, as it is a very important appearance. This is a court ordered mandatory appearance. The only excuse for not appearing is if you have a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer representing you in a misdemeanor case. If you do, the attorney can appear on your behalf and you do not need to appear at all.

If you do not have a Criminal attorney representing you, then you must appear in court on the day that you have been ordered to do so. This is mandatory, you have to appear and is not optional. You cannot appear a day after you have been ordered, but you may have the option to appear before.

If you have been arrested for suspicion of DUI then chances are, you received a citation from the arresting officer with a date. This date is your arraignment date, and you must appear on or before that date in the Court specified. This will start your legal case.

Oftentimes when you appear in court on that date, you will find that the Prosecutor has not filed your case. This does not necessarily mean that they have dismissed the charges against you. The Prosecutor has a year to file the charges and bring a case against you, and it may be that they have not gotten around to doing it yet due to the overwhelming caseload. If that is the case, they will give you written proof that you upheld you obligation and appeared in court and they will then mail you out a letter giving you a new date. In some instances, the case may have been dismissed and the Prosecutor may have decided not to bring charges.

When, and if, you appear in Court, thatsfirst hearing is referred to as the Arraignment. At the arraignment, the Judge will inform you of your rights, the charges against you, the potential sentence and will ask if you would like to enter a plea.

California is a popular destination for out of state residents to come and visit. Whether it be for vacation, to visit friends and family, or for work, one thing is for certain; it is necessary to drive from one place to another. Unlike many other states, travel by public transportation and cab is not as common as it is in other states.

Driving around can often lead to getting arrested for the suspicion of driving under the influence. The proper jurisdiction for the case to be heard is in California, where the incident occurred. But what happens when you are done with your trip and return back home? Does your case get transferred with you, or do you have to fly back for hearings and to complete any sentence the Court may order?

Unfortunately, because you are driving in California at the time of the incident, and you are submitting to California law and procedure, California State Courts will be the only court that has proper jurisdiction over your case. It is a matter for the California government and judicial system, not for any other state.