i went to court today as stated to do on my citation. I was arrested for under 21 DUI. When i showed up at court they had no record of my citation. My license was suspended by dmv. Im wondering if its possible i can petition to get my license back since there is no legal recording of my ticket as known to the district attorney.
I practice mostly in Orange County, not near you in Daly City. However, how it works here, is that the police agency sends the arrest report, copy of ticket, etc to the DA office. A DA reviews it and decides whether to prosecute or not. If they decide to prosecute, the DA files a "Complaint" in court. If a Complaint has not been filed, then the court has no record of anything... even though everyone is doing thier job correctly. The DA is not required to file the Complaint by the date on your ticket. He can file it anytime within 1 year of your arrest. There could be several reasons they did not file the Complaint yet. Perhaps the DA was out sick, on vacation, etc. Perhaps the case involved a blood test and the crime lab hasn't finished its analysis yet. Perhaps the DA rejected the case or sent it back to the police department for further investigation (this happens often when the case involves a no-drive defense, like when they find you in a parked car sleeping). It is always best to have an attorney help you, even in your situation. If, by some miracle, none of the above reasons caused your case not to be filed... and it was in fact some kind of error - there are ways to handle the situation which will not cause the DA to look for that lost file. If you handle it yourself, you may end up alerting someone. Find an experienced DUI attorney to look into it for you, and perhaps file a factual innocence motion next year if they still haven't filed charges. Look for an attorney that belongs to the California DUI Lawyers Association. Google it.
The DMV and the court operate independently. If you didn't request an hearing within 10 days of your arrest, the DMV will have suspended your driver's license for one year. You may be eligible for a "critical need" restriction. This information is on the DMV website. You can download the application.
The courts do not always have the information available for the date you were given when you were arrested. As you will note, from the other responses to your question, the charges are not always filed until some time after your court date. You will usually, receive a notice in the mail. Exercising an abundance of caution, you should contact an attorney who specializes in DUI to assist you. They can, without raising any red flags, contact the court to determine whether or not charges will or will not be filed.
Neither I nor anyone else on this forum can tell you what happened to the criminal case against you although I suspect you will find out soon enough. Even if it has truly fallen through the cracks the DMV proceeding is separate from the Court proceeding which means a failure to prosecute the Court action is not going to affect what the DMV does.
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