DUIs and Holiday Arrests
We have been experiencing a large volume of calls as a result of people arrested for DUI over the holiday period. Those people are now approaching their first court date and are now considering retaining counsel. The District Attorney's Office in Orange County is presently overwhelmed by the number of recent DUI arrests and it is becoming increasingly common for defendants or attorneys to attend court on the date given by the arresting agency for the arraignment only to find that there is no court case filed. This can be very confusing for un-represented defendants who have taken a day off work to attend court and who do not know what to do next.
The legal position is that the District Attorney does not have to file the case with the court by the due date on the citation. In misdemeanor cases, they have up to a year to file the case. It is important that a DUI Lawyer in Orange County facing this problem keep in contact with the prosecuting agency to make sure that he or she knows when the case is filed. Defendants who are unrepresented may ultimately find that an arrest warrant was issued at a later date if they fail to find out when the filing date is. Although the Court or DA should send a letter with the new court date to the defendant, this sometimes does not happen, or the letter is sent to the wrong address.
The problem is also common for Long Beach DUI lawyers practicing in Long Beach Superior Court where the Long Beach Police Department have been giving people an arraignment less than a month from the arrest date. This is not giving the City Prosecutor enough time to file the case. I had two arraignments in Long Beach this morning and neither case was filed.
Negotiating the politics and procedure of the court system requires that you retain an experienced DUI attorney who is able to guide you through problems such as this.