Getting a DUI is serious. Depending on the charges against you, and your driving/criminal history, you could face fines, license suspension, even jail time. If you are stopped and arrested for drunk driving in California, contact an attorney as soon as possible. Generally, you will be able to call an attorney after the booking process.
Remember, once you are accused of a DUI, you are placed under the supervision of the criminal justice system in the state of California. Before you are given the opportunity to defend yourself, you will need to go through a series of steps, including arraignment. Since the process can be both confusing and intimidating, it is in your best interest to hire a lawyer. Your attorney can explain what’s going on, answer your questions — even speak on your behalf.
CA DUI Arraignment
During your drunk driving arraignment in California, you will appear in court before a judge, and have the charges against you formerly declared. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to enter your plea. Depending on the charges against you, and the counsel of your lawyer, you may enter one of three pleases:
- Not guilty — If you did not commit the crime you are accused of, you can enter a please of “not guilty”. It is important to understand, that by entering this plea, you are telling the court that you are innocent of all charges and did not commit the crime. Additionally, you are telling the prosecution that you believe they are incapable of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the charges against you are true.
- Guilty — By pleading guilty, you are admitting that you committed the crime. It is crucial that you discuss your case with your lawyer and understand the consequences of pleading guilty — it is very difficult to withdraw.
- No contest — A no contest plea essentially says that the prosecution has enough evidence to convict you, so you accept punishment without an admission of guilt. If you plead no contest or guilty, you will be sentenced by the judge, and your court proceedings will come to a succinct end.
After you make your plea, the judge will either send you home or back into custody. The judge also has the option to release you on your own recognizance. Additionally, the judge may set bail, which must be paid if you wish to remain home until your court date.
Contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer
Being arrested for a DUI in California is a traumatic experience. At Giuliano Law Firm, we hold your hand, guide you through the process, and advocate passionately for your rights. Whether this is your first, or subsequent DUI, our legal team understands what is at stake and will fight doggedly for your future. Call (831) 257-8692 or contact us online to speak with an experienced DUI defense lawyer today.