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What happens after a DUI arrest in CALIFORNIA?

  1. Motor Vehicle Hearing:

    To preserve your right to drive in California, you must request a hearing within 10 days after your license has been taken from you by an officer or within the time set by Motor Vehicle in a revocation letter. A hearing must be initially scheduled within 30 days, or else the DMV must issue a stay of the suspension, so you will be able to continue driving pending the hearing.

    If you had a valid license when stopped, you are qualified for a temporary license to drive until the hearing. You will be mailed a notice of the hearing about three weeks after your request. You can plan on at least 45 days of driving.

    It is best to make a hearing request by clicking here to download a hearing request form, filling it out, and faxing it to the DMV Hearing Office nearest to the location of your arrest. Keep a copy of the fax confirmation as proof of the transmittal. A list of DMV Hearing Offices and their fax numbers is on the form.

  2. Arraignment:

    This is the date on your ticket, anywhere from 1 to 60 days after your arrest. If you have an attorney and are not on bond, you do not have to appear. It is primarily for advisement of rights. If you have an attorney, he will advise you.

  3. Pre-trial Conference:

    Your attorney will discuss your case with the District Attorney and negotiate the best possible plea bargain. It will happen about 4 weeks after arraignment. This is usually after the Motor Vehicle Hearing. The date is set by the Court and your attorney on his calendar.

  4. Suppression Hearing:

    The Court may suppress some or all of the evidence against you if your constitutional rights have been violated. Your attorney will file motions to suppress. It occurs anywhere 6 weeks to 3 months after the pre-trial conference.

  5. Trial:

    Almost always a trial to a jury of twelve. It will usually take place approximately three to six months after your arraignment.

  6. Sentencing:

    The Court imposes a sentence after a conviction at trial or after a plea bargain is accepted and a plea entered. Sentences may include jail time, in home detention, public service, alcohol classes and fines.

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