If you are a first time alleged DUI offender, you are wondering what happens next. Since no one plans on getting a DUI, you’re probably unprepared to manage the next critical steps. Here are some of the most important things you should know after a DUI arrest. We invite you to call us at 562-206-2012 or to contact us online for your free case evaluation.



Consulting with and hiring a qualified attorney with experience in handling DUI cases can go a long way toward making this process a little less confusing and a lot less frightening. If you do not have an attorney, call me right now for a free confidential consultation.



You have only 10 calendar days (including weekends) after your DUI arrest to contact the DMV to request a HEARING, a copy of the EVIDENCE, and STOP the automatic suspension from taking effect in 30 days. Your DUI Lawyer should include that service AND represent you at the DMV hearing at no extra cost.



Your DUI Attorney will begin the process by entering a NOT GUILTY plea and collecting the initial discovery at the Arraignment, then setting a future court date with plenty of time to review and research your particular case. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, your DUI Lawyer can handle everything so that you don’t need to personally appear in court.



Over the next few months, your DUI Attorney will analyze every aspect and detail of your DUI case; develop defense strategies that fit the facts and guide you toward the most appropriate & favorable resolution and, if necessary, only the minimum consequences.

Misdemeanor DUI Steps


When you are arrested for DUI, whether it is a traffic stop or a checkpoint, and taken to the police station for booking, you will be offered a choice between a breath or a blood sample to establish your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). If you refuse both of these tests, the DMV will automatically suspend your license for at least one year.

If you are involved in a traffic collision, you may be taken to the hospital. If you are taken to the hospital and it is not possible to perform a breath test for BAC, you must be offered the opportunity to give a blood sample. If you refuse, your license will be suspended for up to a year by the DMV.


When the police believe you have sufficiently sobered up, they will usually release you with having you post bail. This release on your “Own Recognizance,” also called “OR” release, simply means they let you go on your promise to appear at the assigned court date. Don’t wait for any additional notice in the mail – it’s not coming.

Once you are released OR, it is YOUR responsibility to appear or have your Long Beach DUI Lawyer appear for you on the assigned date. If you miss the assigned date, the Court will issue a bench warrant and the police can come and arrest you to bring you to court.

If you were not given an assigned court date upon release or you don’t know what it is, have your Long Beach DUI Lawyer check with the department to see when it is. DON’T WAIT!

DMV Hearing

When you were arrested, the police likely took your driver license and gave you a pink temporary. The pink temporary expires 30 days after the arrest at which time your license is automatically suspended.

However, what they usually don’t tell you is that you must contact the appropriate DMV Driver Safety Office with ten (10) calendar days of the arrest to request a hearing to prevent the suspension.

Your Long Beach DUI Lawyer will handle that for you, but it must be within ten (10) days of the arrest, otherwise the right to a hearing is considered waived. Your Long Beach DUI Lawyer will also request that the automatic suspension be delayed until after the hearing. That means you will retain full driving privileges after the first thirty (30) days.

At the hearing, the DMV will try to show – based on the police reports – that you were lawfully stopped and arrested, that the officer had probable cause to believe you were DUI, and that your BAC at the time of driving was at or above 0.08% (or 0.04% for commercial drivers / 0.01% for drivers under 21 years old).

The hearing officer is not a lawyer or a judge, yet in the hearing they are both judge and prosecutor; they rule on their own objections; there is nothing fair about it. In reality, it is a very unfunny joke. But it’s the system and we are stuck with it.

The DMV hearing officer does not follow rules of evidence, they are not interested in forensic science that negates their contentions, and they are not interested playing fair. They want to suspend your license and, unless there is a glaring technicality, they will.

Your Long Beach DUI Lawyer will comb over all of the evidence for the hearing and make every available argument about why your license should not be suspended. In most cases, the license is suspended, although we have also won our fair share of DMV hearings.

DMV Suspension & Restricted License

If you submitted to a chemical breath or blood test and the DMV rules against you at the hearing, you will receive notice that your license is suspended.

However, if you choose to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) immediately, you will be eligible for a restricted license allowing you to drive to and from work, in furtherance of work, and to and from your DUI classes, without an actual hard-suspension.

If the DMV rules that you refused a chemical breath or blood test, your license will be suspended for a full year and you will not be eligible for a restricted license.

To get your restricted license, you will need to provide the DMV with proof of enrollment in an authorized DUI class, proof of an SR22 insurance filing, and you will have to pay the fee. Your Long Beach DUI Attorney will help connect you with the resources to get all of that done.


The very first court appearance is called the arraignment. The only thing that [usually] happens at the arraignment is that your Long Beach DUI Lawyer will enter a plea of “Not Guilty” on your behalf, receive the initial discovery (police reports, etc.), and set another date for a pretrial conference.

The good news, [in most cases] your Long Beach DUI Attorney will go to court for you, so you do not have to go.

After the arraignment, your Long Beach DUI Attorney will evaluate the reports and submit a request to the prosecutor for additional reports, logs, maintenance records, video & audio recordings, photographs, and whatever else there may be in relation to your case. All of those things are referred to as “Discovery.”

Pretrial Conference Stage

The appearances following the arraignment are called “Pretrial Conferences,” it sounds a lot fancier than it is.

The pretrial conference is when your Long Beach DUI Lawyer has an opportunity to meet with the prosecutor, discuss the case, discuss the evidence, and try to work toward a solution that benefits you. This is when the requested discovery is usually turned over.

There can be several of these pretrial conferences in any given Long Beach DUI case, each about a month apart.

The good news, [in most cases] your Long Beach DUI Attorney will go to court for you, so you do not have to go.

Settlement/Disposition Stage

In almost every case, the prosecutor will extend an offer to settle the case. Your Long Beach DUI Attorney will consider the offer in light of the facts and circumstances and extend a counter offer when appropriate.

These settlement discussions can go on for several pretrial conferences over the course of weeks and months until a decision is reached – by you – about whether to accept an offer and settle the case, or take the case to jury trial. 
If the facts and evidence are such that settling without trial is in your best interest, your Long Beach DUI Attorney will guide you and be by your side throughout the entire process. You can rest assured that, if a settlement is the way to go, your Long Beach DUI Lawyer will work hard to ensure that the consequences are the bare minimum for your specific circumstance.

In most cases, you will be present for the settlement court appearance, but not always. In certain circumstances, the entire case, including settlement, can be handled without you ever stepping foot in the courtroom.

Trial Stage

If your case is such that you believe going to trial is worth the risk, your Long Beach DUI Lawyer will suit up and go to battle for you – at no extra cost.

At trial, your Long Beach DUI Lawyer, with you, will select 12 jurors who will ultimately decide whether you are guilty or not guilty. Your Long Beach DUI Attorney will cross examine witness, challenge evidence, and argue fervently on your behalf. You may or may not testify. You may or may not put on evidence.

In the end, your Long Beach DUI Lawyer will do everything possible to show the jury that you should not be convicted and implore them to find you not guilty. Everything after that is in their hands.