Intro: 2 common reasons why your DUI case could be delayed
Before we begin, it’s important to note that typical DUI cases go through two mutually exclusive processes: a court process and a DMV hearing process. The court process addresses the charges filed against you whereas the DMV hearing process determines the status of your driver’s license.
The DMV hearing is entirely separate from your criminal court case and will NOT address whether you are guilty of a criminal act, rather this is the chance for your attorney to explain the circumstances of your arrest and hopefully prevent the suspension of your driver’s license.
There are instances where either process can be held off for months. Below we examine the circumstances where either the court process or DMV process is delayed, and we explain the reasons behind each delay.
Let’s assume that you have been arrested for a first-time DUI. You’ve done your research by looking through our California lawyer’s directory and you’ve hired a top criminal defense attorney. However, there doesn’t seem to be any progress made on your case.
Your attorney breaks down the delay as follows:
1. The District Attorney hasn’t filed
When it comes to the criminal court process of your case, the District Attorney has not filed yet. Yes, this is normal and no, it doesn’t mean anything good or bad for your case. The District Attorney has 1 year to file, if they don’t file within the year, then we win. However, if they file at any time during the year, we will appear in court on your behalf and we’ll fight it.
We call the court and the District Attorney’s office on a regular basis to check on the filing status. The District Attorney doesn’t have to mail you any type of notification, however they sometimes do send a letter to the address provided when you were arrested.
Your case doesn’t get dismissed if the address is wrong. In fact, even if you never got the letter, if you miss court, there will be a warrant for your arrest. That is why we’re constantly checking on the filing status to prevent this from happening to you. If you get a letter in the mail, please forward it to us (your attorney).
You have the right to a speedy trial, but that right doesn’t kick in until they file the case and we plead not guilty in court. Until then, we are dealing with the statute of limitations. Once the statute runs out (1 year for misdemeanors, however the statute is longer for felonies), they can’t file after that.
2. Missing Police Reports
When it comes the DMV hearing, we don’t have your police reports yet. Yes, this is normal. As soon as we get them, we will get you copies of the police reports. If we don’t’ get them by the hearing date or if we get them last minute, then the DMV hearing will be continued.
If the hearing is continued, your license will remain valid, provided that you currently have a valid license. If you currently don’t hold a license, you won’t magically get a valid one simply because the DMV hearing is continued.
Gives us a call, we can help
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, it’s imperative that you hire a top experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you. Even if the DA hasn’t filed, an experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to keep an eye on filing status on your behalf. Having the right attorney by your side can prevent a potential arrest warrant and other potential ramifications. For your free consultation call 800-797-8406 or visit www.socaldefenselawyers.com for more information.