Many of our clients come into our office after they have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. They are very stressed out, and scared about what they are going to do next. One of their biggest concerns is how long it will take to complete the whole process. They want it to be completed as soon as possible. However, it is important to understand that getting the results that you want will take time. The experienced Los Angeles lawyer will have to prepare his argument, and his case. He or she will have to collect evidence, discovery and spend time negotiating with the prosecutor.
Many times, the case may need to be continued. If sufficient discovery has not yet been collected, the attorney has no choice but to continue the case. Continuing the case allows the attorney to spend time reviewing the facts that he needs to review and collecting audio and video surveillance if it exists. It would be unadvisable to enter any type of plea without having an adequate understanding of the facts of the case.
Let’s consider an example. David hires a knowledgeable DUI professional to help him with his case.sDavid’s first appearance in Court, called the Arraignment, is three weeks from the date of his arrest. The attorney he has hired to represent him appears on that day before the Judge. He requests the police and arrest report from the Prosecutors and he is handed the paperwork that day. The attorney does not want to enter a plea on behalf of his client until he has the chance to review the paperwork with his client. He also learns from the Prosecutor that there is also a video of visual surveillance. This is crucial to David’s case, and the attorney must review it prior to entering a plea. Watching the video may weaken Prosecutor’s case, or it may provide a defense for the attorney.
Knowing he does not have all the information, the attorney asks the court to continue the arraignment. The Judge will only go out about 30 days. The attorney sets it out 30 days, and requests the surveillance as soon as he gets back to his office. The attorney reviews all information and is confident that his client has a strong defense. He therefore appears before the Judge again and pleads not guilty, setting the case for Pre-Trial. If the attorney had pled guilty, the case would have concluded approximately 60 days after the date of arrest. However, if the attorney pleads not guilty, another date is set and the case can continue.
If the case goes to trial, it could take a long time to get everything resolved, but it may be worth it for the chance of getting all charges dismissed. In reality, the length of your case will be determined by the strength or weakness of your case. To get a better estimate of the length of time your case will take, you would have to consult with a Los Angles Criminal Defense attorney.