Written by attorney Mark Lawrence Deniz

The DUI Process for San Diego and California...

I hope I can help summarize a very complex process. One that is traumatic to most. I will focus on San Diego (the city I love), though the process is similar throughout California.

There are two branches to a San Diego DUI, including the DMV hearing as well as the criminal court process. These may run simultaneously and are entirely independent of one another. The Law Offices of Mark Deniz can represent you in both hearings.

1) The legal process associated with driving under the influence (DUI) begins with the initial arrest. A law enforcement officer will typically make an arrest for DUI after observing erratic driving behavior, outward signs of intoxication and poor field sobriety test performance. The driver will then be arrested and taken to the police station, where he or she will be asked to submit to a breath test or blood test to determine his or her blood alcohol concentration.

2) After a San Diego DUI arrest, a driver has only 10 days to contact the California Department of Motor Vehicles and schedule a DMV hearing to challenge the suspension of his or her driver's license.

The driver's first court appearance will be the arraignment, at which time the judge will inform the driver of his or her charges. The driver will also then enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest.

After the arraignment, a San Diego DUI defense lawyer can file pretrial motions to suppress evidence, or similar actions which be taken to build your defense. The prosecuting Attorney may also offer a plea bargain at this time. There can be one court conference or many, depending on the facts of your case. There can be one motion or many...again...based on the facts of a case.

The final step in the DUI court process in San Diego, California is the trial. Depending on the particulars of the case, you may or may not have a jury trial. Evidence will be presented to a jury who will make a decision of whether or not the prosecution has met their burden of beyond a reasonable doubt.

Additional resources provided by the author

DUI is different than every other crime out there. The devil is truly is in the details. Make sure you retain an attorney who knows how to look under the hood.

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