For many people charged with a DUI in Westminster, California, it will be their first time inside of a courtroom and the experience will likely be intimidating and overwhelming. You will be tested, arrested, and subjected to various uncomfortable actions during the legal process.
The consequences of a DUI conviction are very real and the resulting criminal record will follow you around for the rest of your life.
Therefore, it is in your best interest to seek out the assistance of an attorney that is experienced in defending against DUIs in Westminster. At The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian, we will thoroughly analyze your case to aggressively defend you against a DUI charge in order to limit the long-term cost of a short-term mistake.
As experienced Westminster DUI attorneys, The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian is ready to defend you or a loved one against a DUI charge even if it means taking your case to trial.
If you are arrested by the Westminster Police Department on suspicion of driving under the influence, you will be forced into the California criminal justice system. During your arrest, it is important that you remain respectful to the arresting officers while also not providing them any information that will benefit their investigation.
As intimidating as the process may be, it will help if you know what to expect.
Once arrested, you are required to submit to a chemical test (breath or blood) to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). This test will be performed at, and you will be escorted to, the Westminster Police Department, a local hospital, or a local jail.
If you are over the age of 21, a BAC of 0.08% or higher will lead to an automatic charge under California’s Vehicle Code 23152(b) VC (commercial drivers and drivers under the age of 21 are subject to lower maximum levels).
If you choose to submit to a breath test, you may also be required to submit to a blood test. This can occur if the officer has reasonable cause to believe that you were driving under the influence of a drug, or the combined influence of alcohol and drugs and if the officer reasonably believes that a blood test will confirm that drugs are in your system. If a blood test is chosen or required, your blood sample will be sent to a lab for analysis which may take a few days for the results to be completed.
These post-arrest chemical tests are mandatory. If you do not submit to a breath or blood test after you are arrested on suspicion of a DUI you will be charged with a “refusal” which will result in an automatic suspension of your license by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for 1 year if this is your first DUI or for 2 or more years if this is your second DUI.
Following the chemical test, you will likely be detained for a few hours while the police complete all necessary criminal and DMV forms. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest and criminal history, you may be released with a written promise to appear in court on a certain date and time.
Once all reports and forms are completed by the handling officer, they will be sent to the District Attorney’s Office or prosecutor’s office. Once received, the reports will be reviewed to determine whether a complaint against you will be officially filed with the West Justice Center.
After your arrest, the police will confiscate your driver’s license and they will provide you with a DS 367 form that will act as a temporary driver’s license for 30 days from the date it is issued. At the end of the 30th day, your license will be administratively suspended by the DMV for 4 months.
To contest the administrative suspension of your license, you need to act quickly and call the DMV within 10 days of your arrest to schedule a DMV Administrative Per Se hearing. If you do not contact the DMV within 10 days, your driver’s license will be suspended for a period of 4 months which will start 30 days after the date of your arrest. If you schedule the hearing, your temporary license will continue to be valid until the outcome of the DMV hearing.
At the arraignment hearing, you will hear the charges filed against you and you will be required to enter a plea: guilty, not guilty, or no contest (you do not admit guilt but agree not to contest the charge).
If you plead not guilty, a pre-trial date will be set and if you plead guilty, a sentencing hearing will be set.