Each year, more than 150,000 DUI arrests in California result in misdemeanor charges, while nearly 5,000 others result in felony charges. That is a whole lot of arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs for one state!
But let’s face it: drunk driving has always been a thing, and will always be a thing until driverless cars finally take over (unless, of course, we teach autonomous vehicles to drink and snort drugs).
Joking aside, if you have been arrested for DUI in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, it may seem like the end of the world. But it is not. As frustrating as it may seem, being arrested for DUI is not that big of a deal, though it is important to know what happens next and what you should be doing to avoid misdemeanor or felony charges.
Here at the Okabe & Haushalter law firm, most of our first-time clients who seek legal representation after a DUI arrest have never dealt with the California criminal justice system. That is why they have a tremendous number of questions, but usually it all leads to the eternal question, “What should I do next after a DUI arrest?”
Today, we brought our San Francisco criminal defense attorney to answer some of the most common questions that we, here at the Okabe & Haushalter law firm, hear from our clients after a DUI arrest in California.
If your car was impounded by the police after a DUI arrest, it only makes sense that you would like to get it back. In most cases, you will face no obstruction from the police when getting your vehicle released from impound. Obviously, you will have to pay release and storage fees and present documents proving that you are the owner of the car.
However, if you have been arrested for DUI after a car accident or the police have any reason to believe that you were involved in a crime, your car may be held on an “evidence hold” after a DUI arrest. Therefore, you will not be able to get your car out of impound during the investigation into suspected crimes. These crimes vary from one case to another, but may include hit and run, drug possession, possession of the stolen property, and others.
It may be tempting to read the police report about your DUI arrest before your first court appearance. Doing so would help you prepare your defense strategy with your lawyer, which is why the police do not release any evidence, including a copy of the arrest, until your arraignment hearing.
It is true that your driver’s license will be confiscated by the police after a DUI arrest, but you will be issued a temporary driving license that will serve as proof that you have valid driving privilege for the next 30 days after the arrest. Also, the temporary license, also known as “pink paper,” will serve as your formal notice to report the DUI arrest to the DMV within the next 10 days to request an administrative review to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license. Your driving privilege will remain valid until DMV reaches a decision in your case. Your driver’s license would be automatically suspected after a DUI arrest if you were convicted of a crime or received an adverse decision in your DMV hearing.
Also, failure to notify DMV and request an administrative review within 10 days from the date of your DUI arrest will result in the separate and independent administrative suspension.
If you are being represented by a San Francisco criminal defense attorney, the risk of losing the DMV hearing or being convicted of a crime after a DUI arrest can be substantially minimized through rapid and powerful legal actions on the part of your lawyer.
Contact the Okabe & Haushalter law firm to seek legal representation today. Call our offices at 310-430-7799 or complete this contact form to get a free consultation about your case and prepare an effective defense strategy.