DUI court proceedings are typically handled separately from other court hearings and the Orange County DUI court process is no different. DUIs are handled as a separate entity to have the trials run more quickly and efficiently since they are in their own dedicated court process. Unfortunately though, this could lead to confusion for the DUI suspect and family of the suspect if they are expecting the trial to go a set way that is similar to other trials. Below, we have outlined the Orange County DUI court process and what you need to know about each step in the process.
First, any DUI court hearing is going to start with a DUI arrest. There is such thing as an unlawful DUI arrest so it is very important to understand the law if you or a loved one should happen to be arrested for a DUI. Following the arrest is the booking and bail. The booking part of the process is when the suspected DUI offender is actually processed through the system. This means the suspect’s information, fingerprints, and photographs are collected. This is also when the suspect is searched. Following the booking, a person may be allowed to post bail. Bail allows a person to be released from custody in exchange for money. A person’s bail will be set at an amount dependent on the crime and past criminal history. There are also different types of bail so it is important to learn all of your options.
The first actual courtroom appearance occurs at the arraignment. It is here that the suspect is allowed to enter a plea. Typically, for a DUI court case, the suspect enters a guilty plea and there is no need for a future hearing. In some circumstances though, the suspect will plead not guilty. This plea will dictate the tone for the rest of the trial. After the arraignment is a preliminary hearing which is the first hearing presented before a judge. Here, the judge will determine if the prosecution has enough evidence to continue with the trial. The next step of the process is the actual trial. Following the trial, if the suspect loses the case, he or she may file for an appeal. This may be necessary to review any potential legal errors.