Being arrested and charged with DUI in San Mateo can be a frightening experience, and drivers are often unprepared for the events that follow. If you or a family member is arrested and charged with DUI, it is helpful to understand the California DUI process so you can get the best defense against these charges. The following steps will help guide you through the legal process and save you both time and frustration.
Find Your Loved One in Jail
If someone you love has been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in San Mateo County, they will be taken to a local detoxification facility called First Chance (assuming no accident and that they are cooperative with the officer) or they may be taken to the San Mateo County Jail (Maguire Correctional Facility in Redwood City – which our office is just one block away from). It is important to have your loved one’s full name and date of birth prior to trying to locate them in a jail.
Release – Bail or No Bail
Once the driver is booked into the jail, he or she may be released with or without bail. Sometimes they are released on their own recognizance with a promise to appear in court. Other times the driver will be held until someone posts bail on their behalf – this is usually the process in San Mateo County. Normally, an individual will be booked into jail for a DUI if it is a felony DUI, a DUI accident, or the individual is not determined by the officer to be cooperative enough to go to a local detoxification facility. Bail is an amount of money that is specified by the court as security to ensure their appearance in court.
If you are required to post bail in order to have your loved one released from jail, then you need to find a bail agent. San Mateo DUI defense attorneys Nafiz Ahmed and Shari Sukaram can help you find a bail agent that can assist you with the release of your loved one. Contact us immediately for more assistance.
Contact a Skilled San Mateo DUI Defense Attorney
One of the most important steps towards fighting your DUI charges is retaining an experienced and skilled San Mateo DUI Defense Attorney. Your DUI lawyer will investigate all angles of your arrest, review any chemical testing, represent you at court and throughout the DUI process, and protect your future while minimizing your consequences. At Ahmed & Sukaram, our San Mateo DUI Defense Lawyers are ready to assist you after a DUI.
Schedule the DMV Hearing
After your DUI arrest, the arresting officer is required by law to confiscate your California’s driver’s license if your BAC is 0.08% or higher. If you are under the age of 21, then the arresting officer can confiscate your driver’s license if there is any trace of alcohol in your blood. Once your California driver’s license is seized, the arresting officer will issue you an Order of Suspension and Temporary Driver’s License. You only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request an Administrative Per Se Hearing with the California DMV to contest the suspension of your driving privileges. If you fail to request this hearing within the 10 day time frame, then your license is automatically suspended for a minimum of 4 months. This can have a significant impact on your ability to work, provide for your family, and enjoy your lifestyle.
Once the individual is arrested the officer will provide that individual with a Notice to Appear. This document looks like a ticket that you would usually get for a traffic infraction, like a speeding citation. On this Notice to Appear is a court date that directs the individual to go to court on a certain date and time to be arraigned, i.e., advised by the court of the charges against him or her, to be advised of the right to counsel and to enter a plea of not guilty, no contest or not guilty. The individual has to sign the Notice to Appear or face being arrested to be brought immediately before a magistrate.
Between the arrest and the court date on the Notice to Appear the District Attorney will usually decide whether or not to file DUI charges against the driver. Sometimes the District Attorney will not have filed charges by the time of the arraignment date indicated on the Notice to Appear. In that event, the driver will be given a new court date to return to court to find out whether charges are filed against the driver or not. The statute of limitations for the District Attorney to file a DUI in a misdemeanor is one year from the offense date. In a felony case, the statute of limitations is up to three years.
A trap for the initiated occurs when the charges are not filed at the first court appearance. The driver may show up to court in San Mateo County and his or her case isn’t on calendar. Then the driver leaves court and later the District Attorney files DUI charges against him or her. Instead of getting a new Notice to Appear in the mail with a future court date, the District Attorney may ask the court to issue an arrest warrant to get the driver back into court. The driver may not have any idea about the arrest until he or she is arrested by a police officer and dragged into court.
Due to complications the one described above, it is imperative that the driver hire the experienced Redwood City DUI defense lawyers at Ahmed & Sukaram right away so that you do not fall victim to the system.
San Mateo DUI Defense Lawyers
If you are charged with DUI in San Mateo, Redwood City, San Jose, or anywhere in the State of California, contact the skilled legal team of Ahmed & Sukaram immediately. We are ready to fight to protect your rights and secure your freedom-no matter how serious the DUI charges are against you. You are not alone-call Ahmed & Sukaram today at 877-337-0697 or email us through this site in order to set up a no obligation consultation. If you prefer to video chat, please connect with us using Skype at Nafiz.Ahmed59.