DUI criminal arraignment proceedings in Vista and throughout San Diego County, usually start with an arrest for DUI where the individual either remains in custody or bails pending arraignment. However, sometimes there is an accident where the alleged DUI driver is injured and taken to the hospital and given a citation or later notified of the arraignment after the blood results become available.
The DUI crimional arraignment is the first appearance before the Judge where you are formally advised of the charges. Before this you have been arrested, but not yet charged,and given a Court date. Between the arrest or incident and the first Court date, the District Attorney (D.A.) reviews the reports and alcohol/drug levels and decides to formally file charges. Misdemeanors must be filed within the one year and Felony DUI’s must be filed within 3 years. On a misdemeanor, an attorney can make all the appearances on your behalf, but you must physically appear on a felony each time. Custody arraignment are within 3 Court days. Out of custody Misdemeanor dates are roughly 30 days after the arrest and felonies are generally within a week. Sometimes arraignments are delayed if the lab results are not available, three weeks is an average for blood to be analyzed and avaialble to the D.A.
The purpose of the arraignment is to advise you of your actual chgarges and enter a plea, the charges sometimes differ from the ones you were arrested on. The D.A. decides what to file based on all the information they have, usually the charges are same as the arrest. Regardless whether you are guilty, in most cases a NOT Guilty plea is entered so your attorney can review reports, evidence, discuss it with you, do any investigation to see if there are any defenses, or mitigating factors that could help get the charges or penalties reduced or dismissed. The case will be continued to a new pretrial Court date for negotiations.
In addition to the Criminal Court Proceedings, there are usually DMV License Suspension proceedings which require IMMEDIATE attention. You only have 10 days from the arrest to respond to the Pink DMV Notice of Suspension, failure to do so waives any hearing to challenge the suspension. That is why it is important to immediately contact an attorney. Call for a FREE consultation 760-941-5720 for the experienced DUI Criminal Defense Attorneys Nicholas and William Christoph who have provided the highest level of DUI Defense for over 34 years across from the Vista Courts.