Driving Under the Influence Defense
DUI Proceedings - An Overview
Our firm has very extensive experience in defending individuals accused of Driving Under the Influence (DUI). With over 16 years of experience in DUI Defense in Southern California, the Law Offices of David A. Welch has represented over 2,500 individuals accused of DUI.
Being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) can be a confusing, life altering experience. If you have been charged with or arrested for DUI, the first thing you should do is contact an experienced Southern California DUI defense attorney. From the very beginning of the legal process, our office will provide you with valuable information and advice to protect your interests.
DUI Cases Require Two Separate Defense Strategies
A California driving under the influence (DUI) arrest typically initiates two separate cases: The Criminal Court and the DMV action. As a Southern California DUI Attorney, my office is extremely versed in both.
The Criminal Court Case
Regarding the Criminal Court matter, the arresting officer typically forwards reports to the prosecution, which in turn will then typically charge two separate criminal violations following a driving under the influence arrest. The first criminal charge is for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in violation of California Vehicle Code section 23152, subdivision (a). The second criminal charge is for driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or greater in violation of 23152, subdivision (b). A frequent question is "why two charges?". The simple answer is that these are two sides to the DUI arrest, allowing prosecutors to charge even those accused of being under the influence of legal medications. It is important that your DUI Attorney understand the nuances of each court's procedures as well as dealing with prosecutors. I am familiar with the procedures in most Southern California Courts as well as the prosecution.
In most cases, the accused does not need to appear and the Southern California DUI Attorney can appear on their behalf. Most cases start with the same steps. First there is an initial court date called an "Arraignment" where initial reports and evidence is turned over. A further date is then set. There is typically several court dates in an informal "pre-trial" type setting where courts allow the prosecution and defense to exchange information and to negotiate a potential settlement. The accused always has the final say in whether the case settles or the matter proceeds forward to a jury trial. While often favorable settlements can be reached, you also have the Constitutional right to demand that the prosecution proves each element of the charges. As your attorney, I thoroughly explain the procedures to you as well as inform you of all significant updates in your case.
The DMV Hearing
Second and perhaps most important to most of us is the issue of our driving privilege. Absolutely critical in most cases is to challenge the officer's suspension by timely requesting a Administrative Per Se (APS) Hearing. The officer will confiscate your Driver's License and issue a pink "Order of Suspension / Temporary License". If arrested for DUI, you have only ten (10) days from the date of the driving under the influence arrest to request a DMV Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing. If a hearing is not requested within ten (10) days of the arrest, the individual's California driver license or privilege to drive in California will automatically be suspended thirty (30) days from the date of the arrest, for a minimum of four (4) months. My firm can immediately request a hearing and often delay the suspension action. We then can obtain arrest reports and other discovery to prepare your defense. As an experienced Southern California DUI Attorney, I have conducted numerous hearings and am familiar with the issues in which to contest the arrest and save my client's driving privilege. While requesting a DMV Hearing does not guarantee a win, victory is often possible even in cases where the facts seem unfavorable.