If the arraignment itself is within the first month, then yes, that's the appearance. They generally schedule the arraignment about a month or two after you've been arrested and then released. If you are released from jail after the arrest, they'll give you a court date of a month or two out. If you take a blood test, sometimes it takes them two to three weeks to get to resolve, depending on the county you're in. So it's a while before you get a court appearance, and then what happens often is that the cop will give you a date to appear in court for your arraignment, but the DA hasn't filed the charges yet. Sometimes they're backed up, or they didn't get all the paperwork in time, so that court date may or may not even happen.
In other words, you have to check if it isn't filed by that arraignment date, then you have to keep checking and make sure you know what date it is that does get filed and when you do have to get to court, otherwise they may or may not send you a notice to be in court. The court or the DA may not send you a notice and they file the charges and you are not aware of it and a warrant is issued. So the best thing to do is of course hire an attorney who will appear for you on that first court appearance and will make sure that no warrants are issued if the charges haven't been filed yet. There isn't a whole lot that you discuss really in the first 30 days. In my practice, after I have the initial consultation with the client, I usually don't have another consultation with him until after I've gotten a copy of the police report. That could be two or three weeks out, or it could be even longer than that.
In some unusual cases, I may need to meet with my clients a couple of times before then, but it's not until you get the police report that you can sit down with the client and go over it and discuss strategy and where you think the case is going to go.
Is It Advisable To Go For Voluntary Treatment Or Counseling Prior To Trial?
It never hurts a case that I've seen. Sometimes it isn't really helping the case but it can't hurt. If it's a first time DUI and there was not a real high blood alcohol level and no bad accident, then it doesn't really make sense to go to counseling unless you feel that you need it. If you do feel you need it, then you go anyway. As far as helping for the court case, if you have a high blood alcohol even in the first offense and where there was an accident involved, then it would look good to the court if you started counseling even before the first court date. Certainly, if this is a second or third offense or more even, definitely start counseling before the court date.
What Advice Would You Give To Someone After They Have Been Arrested?
Immediately call a lawyer who is knowledgeable and skilled in DUIs firstly, because you need to contact the DMV within 10 days in order to request a hearing, otherwise that suspension that the cop gave you will go into effect at the end of 30 days. Your lawyer will also be able to request a copy of your police report much more quickly. Additionally, a lawyer can advise you on whether you should start counseling or not. There isn't a whole lot that a person in this situation can do, and it's frustrating for many since all they can do is wait and see what happens. The best advice I can give is to immediately call a lawyer who is knowledgeable. I've been contacted by people many times who would have put themselves in a much better situation and would have had a much better outcome had they contacted me right away, rather than waiting a month later to call me.
How Can I Hire An Attorney Immediately Upon Arrest?
You should get an attorney right away. You can wait until you get released from the jail, but certainly within the first 10 days, you should contact a lawyer. There are many places to find a good qualified lawyer; I would recommend in California that you look on the California DUI Lawyers website, at californiaduilawyers.com. That's an organization of lawyers that devote most of their time and energy to defending people accused of DUIs, and you'll find a qualified good lawyer on that list which is divided up by county. If you're arrested, say in Contra Costa County, you can go to Contra Costa drop down on that website and find several lawyers that will be based there who you can call. Anyone who is a member of that group will be a qualified attorney to represent you.
Can An Attorney Help My Friend Or Family Member To Get Out Of Jail Immediately?
It's usually not a problem. In your average DUI arrest, the person is released within a few hours as long as there's someone that can pick them up and take responsibility for them to make sure they don't drive until the next day or something like that. If you don't have anybody that can pick you up, then you're generally going to sit in the jail for several hours until they believe that you're sober enough to drive or they'll give you an exit breath test to see if you are below the limit enough where they feel okay to release you. Generally that's what happens in most jurisdictions. They don't want to keep you there any longer they have to, and they typically don't want to take you to a jail for booking and that sort of thing from the police station. Some jurisdictions make you post a bail before they release you and if you don't post a bail, then you sit there until they get you in front of a judge, which would take up to 48 hours. If you are arrested on a Friday, you could be there all weekend unless you post a bail.
Can I Hire Another Attorney If I Am Not Satisfied With The Services Of My Current Attorney?
It's never too late; you can always change lawyers. You have a right to the lawyer of your choice. At any point along the way, you can hire a new attorney.
For more information on First Court Appearance After Arrest, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (925) 933-4500 today.