he will be using a public defender. what will most likely happen at his first court date?he will be going to west Covina courthouse for I guess his arraignment. best to plead guilty or not?
There's a strong chance that the public defender will counsel him to plead guilty under "standard first" terms. This would mean fines and penalty assessments around $1800, 3 years of probation and a DUI class. Just knowing that he blew a .11 isn't nearly enough information to tell you whether that is a good outcome in his specific case or not. DUI defense requires detailed attention and is hard to do effectively at the volume of cases the public defender handles. There may be defenses, but it's impossible to tell what he should do without reviewing the discovery.
Nicholas M. Loncar, Esq.
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Your inquiry raises some questions that need answered before an informed opinion can be given. For example, you say no injuries; does that mean he was involved in an accident, as opposed to merely being pulled over? Secondly, how old is your son? It makes a huge difference if he is under 21.
When did this citation issue? You must be aware that, quite independent from the court case, there will be a DMV action and, unless, you request a DMV hearing within ten days of the citation issuance, he loses his right to contest the DMV hearing and, as a consequence, would lose his license summarily. It i important to at least preserve your right to a DMV hearing by making the timely request.
If you can address these questions, I can give you a more accurate opinion as to what your son faces. It goes without saying that retaining a private attorney may help him get the best result but I assume that is not an option and will answer your query with that understanding if you can provide the additional information.
The first hearing will be the arraignment. Thereafter there will be a series of Pre-trial conferences and possibly a Motion to Suppress, if there are grounds. The PD should review the police report and all of the evidence before making any suggestions as to entering a plea of guilty or no contest.
A public defender is good, but burdened.
They will meet briefly with your son and ask if he wants to plead.,
DUI cases more than most other charges must be vetted thoroughly. There is so much that goes into these kind of cases. Most of the defenses are found when you scratch the surface. It is understandable that a busy attorney may overlook these small facts.
DUIs have far reaching consequences, especially to your son's license. You do not want him taking the bus or getting rides from you for the next several months.
Good luck with the case. If a quality private attorney is affordable I would recommend retaining one.
I worked as a prosecutor for months in West Covina. NO the parking is not free (it used to be) but you have to pay for it. Since it is first time DUI and .11 BAC here is what your son will get 3 years of summary probation (unsupervised) + $390 + PA (which will be $2012) + AB 541 (the 3 month alcohol class) + restitution to the city or the county whoever owns that object + the prosecutor can/will also add some community labor due to the collision, the prosecutor can/may ask for IID (ignition interlock device). Knowing the prosecutors in West Covina, I doubt they will ask for it and if the DMV does not require it then your son does not have to install the IID at all. The probation will NOT be a formal probation, or misdemeanors it is always summary probation (unsupervised). As a former prosecutor I have handled hundreds of DUI cases. I know this is what I would have imposed if I got that case and I worked in that court for months. Prosecutors have specific guidelines they have to follow.
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