Handling a charge for driving under the influence (DUI) in California can be a lengthy process. Depending upon the charges a driver is facing, the entire process can vary greatly in length, making it difficult to determine how long a DUI case lasts.
You can review come common time frames associated with DUI cases with this article. Learn more about the legal process to resolve DUI charges with the Simmrin Law Group. Call us at (310) 896-2723 to get answers to your legal questions.
DUI Cases Last Until They Are Resolved in California
There is no set answer for how long it takes to complete a DUI case in California. Drivers may end a case in a matter of days if they plead guilty or immediately accept a plea bargain offered by the prosecution. DUI cases that go to trial can take over a year to resolve in some cases.
DUI cases are often broken up into different stages. You can review how long each of these stages generally takes with this article.
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Time Until Arraignment in DUI Cases
Drivers arrested for a DUI will receive their formal charges at their arraignment hearing. The arraignment hearing also gives drivers their first chance to plead:
- No contest
- Not guilty
Note that a plea of guilty or no contest can immediately end a DUI case. After a driver pleads no contest or guilty, the court will hand down penalties and the case will be over.
Arraignment hearings are not all held at the same time in California. Generally, an arraignment hearing must be held within 48 hours – or two business days – if a driver has to remain in jail. Drivers who cannot get bail may, therefore, receive an arraignment hearing in two days, not counting holidays or weekends.
Drivers who are not held in jail may have to wait longer for an arraignment hearing. In this situation, drivers usually wait at least 10 days. The wait may take significantly longer, depending upon the court schedule.
Time Until Pre-Trial Conferences in DUI Cases
Drivers who plead not guilty to a DUI charge at their arraignment hearing next have to wait for their pre-trial conference. This court appearance often takes place around a month after a driver’s arraignment, but it may take more or less time.
Note that drivers may be offered plea bargains around the time of a pre-trial conference. Accepting a plea bargain from the prosecution:
- Requires a driver to plead guilty to a lesser charge
- Subjects the driver to reduced penalties
- Ends the DUI case immediately
In some cases, a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles will recommend that a driver accept a plea bargain during a pre-trial conference. You can call (310) 896-2723 to speak to a lawyer about whether a plea bargain is a right way to resolve your DUI charges in California.
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Time to Resolve DUI Charges in Court in California
Taking a DUI charge all the way to court in California can take months or years. However, once the trial starts it usually only takes a few days. Many DUI trials last for two-to-five days after the driver finally reaches the court system.
Drivers who go to court to resolve DUI charges will be declared guilty or not guilty by a jury. In either situation, the DUI case will be over once the judge and jury hand down the court’s decision.
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Time for DUI Hearings at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
Thus far, we have discussed the time frame associated with criminal charges for a DUI in California. Drivers may also need to request a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) after a DUI arrest. Drivers have 10 days from their arrest to request this hearing. Failure to request the hearing allows the DMV to suspend a driver’s license automatically 30 days after the arrest.
Often, drivers have to wait four-to-six weeks for a DMV hearing. The hearing generally does not take very long. You can get help handling DMV hearings and your criminal DUI charges by contacting a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles today. Drivers who get professional help may be able to resolve DUI accusations more quickly.
Call a Lawyer to Find Out How Long DUI Cases Last
DUI cases can last a few days or over a year, depending upon how you try to resolve the accusations you are facing. You can get legal advice about the best way to handle a DUI charge by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. Discuss your legal options right now with a FREE initial case evaluation.
Reach out to our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles by calling (310) 896-2723 or filling out our online contact form.