Complete Guide to DUI Hearings at the Airport Courthouse in LA
If you were recently arrested for drunk driving, you likely have a lot of questions. Whether you have been arrested for DUI before or this is your first offense, Gold & Witham is here with a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process of DUI hearings at the Airport "LAX" Courthouse.
How do I know what court my DUI is being handled in?
Los Angeles County is broken up into 13 judicial districts. The Airport Courthouse belongs to the West Judicial District. Other criminal courthouses in the West District are the Beverly Hills Courthouse and the Santa Monica Courthouse. If you were arrested for drunk driving and are unsure which court your case will be handled in, view your citation. You should receive your DUI citation in the mail, and this will include the necessary court information. If you are still unsure, contact Gold & Witham.
When is my court hearing?
This information will also be on your citation. The LAX courthouse is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am until 4:30pm. If you view your citation and you know that you will not be able to make it to your hearing, you will need to petition with the court to get your date changed. They may or may not grant this petition. Failure to appear in court at the specified day and time can constitute "failure to appear" and initiate an arrest warrant against you.
**Note that your criminal DUI hearing at the Airport Courthouse is separate from the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing that takes place at the DMV. This hearing is optional, must be requested within 10 days of your arrest, and only concerns your driving privileges.
Where is the Airport Courthouse located?
The Airport/LAX Courthouse is located at:
11701 South La Cienega
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Where can I park?
Be sure to arrive early for your hearing so that you can find parking. You have two options for parking at the LAX Courthouse. You can either access public parking at the Pacific Concourse parking lot or get metered parking near the courthouse for $2 per hour.
Who are the judges at Airport Courthouse?
There are nine judges stationed at LAX Courthouse and four commissioners. The judges are:
- Edward Moreton
- Keith Schwartz
- Deborah Brazil
- Leslie Brown
- Antonio Barreto
- Elden Fox
- Kathryn Solorzano
- James Dabney
- Mark Windham
An advantage to retaining Gold & Witham for your defense is that we are familiar with most of the judges at Los Angeles County courthouses. We know how they operate and can cater your defense accordingly.
There are lots of different courtrooms at the Airport Courthouse. Where do I go?
For a complete list of courtrooms (there are 13), visit LACourt.org. Going to court alone can be confusing, especially if this is your first time. We invite you to contact our Los Angeles DUI lawyers so that we can help you navigate not only the building, but also the hearing process.
Does the degree of my DUI affect the location of my case?
Yes. Different judges and departments handle misdemeanors than those that handle felonies. For example, if you were charged with a felony DUI, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office would handle your case and it would likely be arraigned by Department 140. Misdemeanor DUIs are often handled by the LA City Attorney's Office and Department 141.
Arraignment and Trial
Not all DUI cases go to trial. You will first appear for an arraignment hearing shortly after your arrest. For many DUI offenders, they are released or released on bail after their arrest and return for their arraignment hearing at the scheduled day and time. Other DUI offenders, usually for more severe offenses, are held in jail until their arraignment.
At the arraignment, the judicial officer will read the charges against you and read you your rights. Then you will be asked how you plea. We recommend having an attorney present with you at this hearing so they can advise you of the best recourse. Often, the prosecutor will offer a plea deal that is not in your best interests. Either we can negotiate a better plea deal or have you plead "not guilty," which would mean your case would be set for a trial.
Before trial, cases go through a "pre-trial" phase. During this phase, your defense attorney will be gathering information and building arguments and filing motions in an attempt to get your charge reduced or dismissed. Some DUI cases are settled during pretrial, but others move to trial.
Contacting Our Airport Courthouse DUI Lawyers
We believe the best way to prepare yourself for a DUI hearing at Airport Courthouse is by retaining an experienced DUI attorney. Gold & Witham is one of the most respected drunk driving defense firms in Los Angeles.
To learn more about how we could help you, contact us for a free DUI case review!