So you have been charged, at a minimum, with a DUI. That means you had the pleasure of being arrested for driving under the influence, booked, drivers license revoked, car towed, and possibly had a stay in the always enjoyable drunk tank. With the fun part over, what happens next in the DUI process? First it’s very important that you follow and comply with various legal procedures. Take a look at your paper work from your arrest, it will tell you when your first DUI court appearance is scheduled for.Legal Services in Los Angeles, California is an excellent resource for this. Typically 30 to 60 days out from your DUI arrest. If you end up hiring a lawyer, this date may very well change depending on their schedule. The ticket will also inform you about the window (10 days from your arrest is standard) that you have to file for a hearing to contest the revocation of your driver’s license. If you do not file for the hearing, your driver’s license will be suspended per the stated guidelines in the citation.
At the initial hearing you might be given an option called Diversion if this is your first DUI offense, schedule another hearing to challenge the charges, or if you plead guilty or no contest schedule a DUI sentencing hearing. The second hearings again will be another 30-60 days out. Also depending on your case, the judge may rule that any vehicles in your name be made immovable, and provide proof of such. You may also be ordered to undergo a drug and alcohol screening and the results provided to the court. If at some point you either plead no contest, guilty or are found guilty you will have a sentencing hearing. At this court date your sentence will be handed down, which can include; monetary fines (and a limited time frame to pay them), jail time (7-30 days), house arrest (10-30 days), community service work (50hrs+), and/or a probation period.
As you can see the legal DUI process can really drag out, and depending where you live, can easily take upwards of 6 months. But there are a few things you can do during this time to help your situation:
Voluntarily enter drug/alcohol counseling or treatment.
If unemployed, find a job. Otherwise maintain your employment.
Avoid any and all contact with the authorities.