California DUI arrests arise in different ways. Possibly a few drinks at the office Christmas party, followed a drive into a drunk driving checkpoint, led to an arrest. A driver fumbling with a CD player may have swerved, and the police officer that pulled the car over smelled alcohol on the driver’s breath. Perhaps a serious accident happened which resulted in injury and a DUI investigation, which led to an arrest.
No matter how it happens, being arrested for DUI / DWI can be a frightening experience. But whatever the circumstances, drunk driving arrests require fast action. The most urgent concerns are usually finding an experienced California DUI / DWI lawyer, locating someone in custody, finding a bail bondsman, and acting fast to prevent the automatic suspension of a driver’s license.
Locating someone arrested for drunk driving can be difficult without the right resources. When trying to locate a driver arrested for DUI / DWI, it’s useful to have the individual’s full name and date of birth on hand. If the driver has been in contact with family or friends after the arrest, obtaining his or her booking number also will be helpful.
Although some individuals arrested for drunk driving are released on their own recognizance, others will not be released until they post bail. Locating a bail bond provider is the first step in securing a suspected DUI / DWI driver’s release from custody. Bail bond firms typically require an up-front down payment of 10 percent of the driver’s bail amount to secure his or her release.
Once the driver is released from custody, it’s important to start addressing the legal issues that stem from a drunk driving arrest. A DUI case in California triggers two different cases – a California DMV case and a criminal court case. A driver arrested on suspicion of DUI / DWI has only 10 days after arrest ” including weekends and holidays” to request a DMV hearing, or risk losing his or her driving privileges. If a hearing is not requested within 10 days, the DMV will automatically begin the process of suspending the driver’s license.
The first step in a driver’s court case is arraignment. During the arraignment, the driver will be asked to enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty. Although the thought of facing a jury trial makes many accused DUI / DWI drivers nervous, there are many good reasons to fight a drunk driving charge in court. Some drivers fear that a DUI / DWI arrest means an automatic conviction, but that’s simply not true. It’s possible to fight and win a drunk driving case with the help of experienced legal counsel.
Both the DMV hearing to determine driver’s license status and the criminal court case that stems from a drunk driving arrest can be successfully challenged, but these procedures can be complex, and the cost of losing can by high. An experienced California DUI / DWI criminal defense attorney can develop an aggressive strategy to attack both the court case and the DMV action.