DUIs in Orange County
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Orange County and you are due to appear for your arraignment in Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, you need to be aware of the procedure followed in that Court and you need representation from a DUi Defense Lawyer who is familiar with the politics of defending drunk driving charges in Orange County.
If this is your first offense, your arraignment will probably be scheduled in Department H8 with Judge London. Judge London has a reputation for being a very fair Judge and sometimes it is advisable to seek an offer of penalties from him rather than entering a Not Guilty Plea and scheduling your case for Pre-Trial. This would be the case if there were aggravating facts such as bad driving, a traffic accident or a high blood or breath alcohol level. It is likely that in those circumstances Judge London would be more lenient than most Prosecutors in Harbor Justice Center.
However, Judge London does not have discretion to dismiss cases or reduce charges. If you believe that you have a defense to DUI or challenging your case is important to you in an effort to have it dismissed, it is necessary to enter a plea of Not Guilty and schedule your case for Pre-Trial in Department H7. This gives you an opportunity to present any arguments in your DUI case to a Deputy District Attorney in an effort to have DUI charges dismissed or reduced. If, during the Pre-Trial process you are unsuccessful in negotiating a plea bargain to your liking, then it is necessary to set a date for a Jury Trial.
If you have prior convictions for DUI, it is likely that your first court appearance will be scheduled in another court room with a different Judge. More punitive penalties including jail time of typically thirty to ninety days on a second offense apply. One option that you may be given is to have your case heard in Judge Bigg's "Dui Court." If approved, you may then be given an opportunity to perform a one year period of rehabilitation classes through Orange County Probation Office. Although this is an effective way to avoid jail time, it is a demanding program in terms of time and effort and should only be considered an option for people who have flexibility with work schedules. It is also only appropriate for people who believe they have a problem with alcohol and who are ready to commit to sobriety.
For more information on the procedure and policies in Harbor Justice Center, Orange County, contact Orange County DUI Attorneys Gold & Witham for a free consultation.