Being arrested for Driving Under the Influence is a traumatic experience for anyone. Going through the process by yourself, without the expertise of a professional, makes it that much harder. Miranda McCroskey offers the knowledge and experience to walk you through the criminal justice system such that your best interests are met within the limitations set by the facts of your case and the existing evidence against you. Ms. McCroskey will educate and inform you along the way and will be available to you for questions and explanations. Not only will she fight for you, but she will assure that the process runs smoothly and efficiently.
Following is a summary of the DUI process, and the actions Ms. McCroskey will take on your behalf:
I. The Criminal Court Aspect of a DUI
After being arrested for a DUI you will receive information from the police officer including a court date – usually thirty days after the date of your arrest. This first court appearance is known as your arraignment. This hearing is where the judge advises which charges have been filed against you, and requests that a plea be entered on your behalf. Your arraignment may be continued, or a plea of not guilty may be entered and a future pretrial date set. At the arraignment we will obtain a copy of the complaint and the police report, and will forward a copy to you for your review. Our office then begins the investigation and analysis of the facts in your police report. At the arraignment the judge will determine whether any additional conditions should be imposed on you while the case is pending. In California, first time offenders with no enhancements, accidents and non-lethal blood alcohol levels are usually simply warned not to drive with any alcohol in their system. In cases where there are multiple offenders, accidents, and/or injuries the judge could order you to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, a higher bail amount, attend a treatment program, and/or an ignition interlock device be installed on your vehicle.
The court appearance following the arraignment is the pretrial conference. At the pretrial our office will negotiate with the District Attorney in regard to the strengths and weaknesses of the case, request discovery, and/or schedule a future pretrial conference. In the interim, if applicable, our office will have discussions with experts in regard to your case, request discovery from crime labs, and conduct further investigation. There may be several pretrial conferences in order to obtain the best resolution for your case.
C. Pretrial Motions
As our office analyzes your police report and other evidence relevant to our case, we will be determining whether or not a pretrial motion should be filed. Generally, pretrial motions are made in order to exclude evidence which may be used at trial. You may or may not be required to be present when a pretrial motion is heard. The benefit of winning a pretrial motion is that evidence that could be damaging to you such as results of your breath or blood test, or statements you might have made, may be excluded resulting in an advantageous plea bargain offer made by the prosecution or even a dismissal.
Should our office determine that the evidence and facts of your case support going to trial we will have a discussion with you as to the costs of time, money and energy of trial as compared to the benefits of winning a trial. Should you decide to go forward an additional fee will be required by our office. Trials generally last four to ten days, and consist of motions to exclude evidence, jury selection, opening statements, witness testimony, cross-examination, and closing statements. On occasion, cases do settle on the day of trial.
II. Department of Motor Vehicles
At the time of your arrest you were given a pink temporary license from the arresting officer. On that pink sheet you will have been instructed to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) within ten days of your arrest in order to set up an Admin Per Se (“APS”) Hearing. If you contact our office within ten days of your arrest, we will contact the DMV and schedule an in person hearing on your behalf to challenge their projected suspension of your driving privilege. Should you lose the DMV hearing, the DMV will suspend your license for four months. In the alternative, your license may be suspended for thirty days and then restricted for an additional four months – or a total of five. A suspended license means that legally you cannot drive. A restricted license means that you may legally drive your vehicle to and from work and alcohol classes. Your appearance at the DMV hearing is optional.
Ms. McCroskey is personally available to assist you with every aspect of your case. Please call (714) 389-2257 for a free first consultation on your case. A reasonable fee structure can be determined for your needs. McCroskey Legal accepts all forms of payment.