How do you prepare for a DUI hearing?
While most people have seen plenty of courtroom drama on television, not many have personally been involved in the judicial system. All new things are scary, including facing a DUI hearing. The best way to take charge of your nerves and increase the likelihood of a positive outcome is to be as prepared as possible for your DUI hearing.
Contact a lawyer
A personal injury lawyer is an absolute necessity when you’re facing a DUI hearing. You should have a lawyer with you for all the proceedings surrounding your case, as Los Angeles car accident attorneys know the ins and outs of California law, and can work with the prosecution to work out the best possible resolution.
Your lawyer will be able to access and analyze all the evidence, from police reports and officer conduct, to your blood alcohol level and how it was obtained. This is important as he or she will not only be able to advocate for you in court, but will also be able to give you an accurate assessment of the likely outcome, and what kind of sentence you might receive. Most importantly, having an experienced car accident attorney in your corner will make the entire process more manageable and less stressful for you and your loved ones.
Choose a plea
You will have to formally enter a plea at your DUI hearing. Choosing your plea will help you determine the next necessary steps. For example, if you plead “no contest” or “guilty,” you will then have a sentencing hearing. Conversely, if you plead “not guilty” you will be given the chance to test the evidence and challenge the prosecution in court.
Look your best
A DUI is a very serious offense in Southern California, therefore it’s a good idea to prove that you understand the seriousness in court by dressing appropriately. Choose a professional and put-together outfit, like a shirt and tie for men or a business suit or skirt for women.
On time is late
It’s absolutely vital that you arrive on time for your DUI hearing, so you should plan to be at least 45 minutes early. This extra time will allow for that terrible LA traffic, getting through courthouse security, and any other potential delays.
If your driver’s license was suspended because of your arrest, do not drive yourself to your hearing.
What not to bring
Courthouse security can be a hassle, so take care to leave any extra items from your pockets or purse at home. Ideally, limit yourself to your ID, keys and cell phone. Remember to turn your phone off before entering the courtroom. Turning it on silent is not enough, as a vibrating phone can be very distracting. Also leave any food or drink outside, especially chewing gum.
Things to note
Defending a DUI charge in California can be lengthy, with various steps ranging over potentially many months. Do everything you can to be prepared for each step, and take care to remain in communication with your lawyer as it’s his or her job to help you through the process towards the best possible outcome.
Also, under California law, the State Department of Motor Vehicles has a different process to determine if you get to keep your driving privileges after your DUI offense. This is completely independent of your criminal case, but your lawyer can still help you through the DMV hearing.
Ellis Law Corporation
A DUI can be tough to navigate, but a Los Angeles personal injury lawyers can make the experience less stressful and help you work towards a positive outcome.
The team of lawyers at Ellis Law Corporation has the experience necessary to guide you through your DUI hearing. In fact, we’re so confident in our abilities that we offer our personal injury attorney services without any up front fees or costs. You only pay if we win. We know how hard it can be to go through a car accident or DUI charge. Our goal is to help alleviate that burden. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.