Vista DUI and Criminal Court proceedings start with the first appearance or arraignment, then readiness conference, technical motions and ultimately trial if the case cannot be resolved. Over 95% of all cases are resolved through this process without a trial.
The first Court appearance in DUI and criminal cases in Vista is the arraignment where you are formally told your official charges. Once you are arrested or cited, law enforcement turns over the police reports to the District Attorney’s office to decide the charges to file. Many times they are the same charges you were arrested or cited for by the police. However the D.A. can add or delete charges and even reject and not file charges if they think there is insufficient evidence.
On most misdemeanors, except “domestic violence” charges, an attorney can appear without you. At the first appearance, the lawyer may have some preliminary discussions with the prosecutor but usually enters a plea of “not guilty” and continues the case for negotiations at a readiness or pretrial conference. The lawyer will then get copies of the reports and evidence, review it with his client for defenses and mitigating factors and advise the client of a best case resolution for the matter. That resolution could be a dismissal, lesser charges, or lesser penalties depending on the facts of the case. The attorney then gets the clients authority to resolve the case at the readiness or pretrial if he can achieve that “best case” scenario. The readiness can be continued to allow ample time to try and resolve the case without trial.
Sometimes there are technical motions for things like an illegal stop which can be litigated by a Judge before trial. If there is an issue, many times it can be used as a lever to negotiate lesser charges or penalties. Finally, if the case cannot be resolved, a trial will decide the issue of guilt. Trials can be risky, and sentences, if someone is found guilty, can be considerably greater than that which could have been negotiated. Christoph Law Offices have been located across the street from Vista Courts and handlled Vista DUI and Criminal cases for over 30 years. They can help you achieve the best result in your case. For a free consultation call 760-941-5720.