Fresno Area DUI: What Happens Now?
What Happens after I Get Arrested for DUI in Fresno?
After you are arrested for a DUI in Fresno, you may not know where to turn,
or what to do next. The first question you will probably have is: What
happens now? The answer may depend on what happened in your particular
case. For most people, the police officer has taken away your driver's
licence, and has given you a pink slip of paper, which is your temporary
driver's license. You will then have received a notice to appear in
court within a few weeks. Being arrested for a DUI is a difficult and
frightening situation. If you do not know what to do next, Terry Wapner
and David Jones can help.
Many Fresno DUI cases will follow a similar series of events, but the facts
and circumstances surrounding each DUI case is unique. These individual
factors and details specific to your case can provide a basis for a number
of different defenses to DUI charges. Your experienced DUI attorney should
discuss these facts with you in determining how best to approach your case.
For most people arrested for a DUI in Fresno, the timeline will look something
(1) Fresno Police Traffic Stop and DUI Investigation
In most cases, the police officer will pull a car over after the officer
has allegedly witnessed some form of a traffic violation. These traffic
violations can include running a stop signal; the car having a broken
tail light; speeding; or weaving in and out of lanes. After an officer
has stopped the car, they will try and determine whether or not the driver
has consumed alcohol. Many drivers may actually voluntarily tell the police
officer that they have had a few drinks, or they were coming home from
the bar. Based on this information, the police will often have the driver
exit the vehicle to continue their investigation into a possible DUI.
They generally ask a series of questions related to alcohol consumption,
including: "How many drinks have you had?" or "Where are
you driving to?"
The purpose of the officer asking these types of questions is an attempt
to determine the level of the driver's intoxication. This information
is considered "objective symptoms of intoxication," or OSI's.
If the officer determines the driver has a sufficient level of OSI, they
will ask for a breath sample, or preliminary alcohol screening (PAS).
In fact, you are not required to take a PAS. This breath test is only
for investigative purposes and is not the same as the breath sample you
will be required to give after an arrest.
(2) The Fresno DUI Arrest
If the driver has submitted to the PAS and results show the driver to be
above the legal limit, the officer may arrest the driver. Or, if the police
officer thinks the driver has performed poorly on any number of the administered
field sobriety tests (FST's), the officer can arrest the driver. A
police officer can also arrest a driver if they think the driver cannot
operate the vehicle safely. In California, the two most common DUI charges include:
Vehicle Code §23152(a), driving under the influence; and
Vehicle Code §23152(b), driving with a 0.08 percent or higher blood
alcohol content (BAC)
(3) Administrative California DMV Hearing
After being arrested for a DUI, the police will confiscate your driver's
license, and give you a copy of a pink paper. This paper acts as a temporary
license, titled Suspension Order and Temporary License. The paper serves
as a temporary driver's license for 30 days, and as a notice that
the temporary license will be automatically suspended after 30 days, unless
you request a DMV hearing.
It is important to understand that a driver only has 10 DAYS from the date
of arrest in Fresno to request the DMV hearing. If the driver does not
request the hearing, the suspension is automatic. If the driver does request
a hearing within the 10 day deadline, suspension will be postponed until
after the DMV hearing. The hearing can be done by telephone or in-person,
but in-person hearings are generally recommended.
(4) The DUI Arraignment
You will also receive a citation to appear in court. On the bottom of the
citation will be the date of appearance. This is known as an arraignment,
and if you are charged with a misdemeanor DUI, your lawyer can appear
on your behalf. In fact, your attorney can appear on your behalf for most
of the future court dates.
During the arraignment, either you or your attorney will enter a plea to
the court, such as “not guilty.” At this time, you or your
attorney will receive initial police and scientific reports related to
your arrest. Additionally, future pre-trial court dates will be set at
(5) Pre-Trials and Motions
Pre-trials and motions are opportunities for your DUI defense attorney to:
- Argue DUI motions before the court on your behalf;
- Request additional information and DUI reports from prosecutors; and
- Negotiate on your behalf with both the prosecutor and the court.
Depending on the situation, your lawyer and the prosecution can reach a
settlement, and your plea will be entered before the court. There may
be a number of pre-trial dates, depending on the case.
(6) DUI Jury Trials in California
As the defendant, you are guaranteed the right to a trial by jury. A defendant
can require the prosecution to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt
in front of a jury of one's peers. Your DUI attorney will meet with
you to discuss the specifics of your case, any possible defenses, and
help determine whether or not your case should go to trial. The decision
to go to trial is ultimately left up to the client.
Terry A. Wapner and David E. Jones have more than 58 years of combined
experience defending people who have been arrested for a DUI. They can
represent the entire central valley, with clients in Fresno, Kings, Tulare,
Hanford, Lemoore, Madera, Merced, Coalinga, Visalia, Clovis, and more.
If you are facing a DUI charge, you need a lawyer who specializes in DUI
defense and will fight for your rights.
call us at (559) 257-4707 to schedule your initial consultation.