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Stages in a San Diego DUI Court Process and DMV

On Behalf of | Sep 17, 2015 | Firm News |

When your legal practice is focused on one type of law you hear the same questions with virtually every client.  The most common questions is, “do I or should I go to court” and “what is going to happen on that date”.

The answer to the first question is that if you have retained an attorney, you do not have to attend court in most DUI cases.  It usually does not help to attend.  There has been some instances in which it helped (but not many and it is for very specific reasons).

So what happens at the court date?  It depends where the person is in the case.  Some people believe you just walk in and plead.  Others believe you walk into a jury trial.  Neither can be further from the truth.

After 12 years of practice and handling thousands of DUI cases there is a way to approach a DUI defense case.  In a perfect world the person is proactive and utilized the DMV hearing to unearth evidence.  The person should also be proactive and prepare to mitigate for the court/prosecutor.

You want to always be several steps ahead to get the best resolution possible.  Below is the stages in a San Diego DMV/APS hearing and DUI court case.

If you have any questions or would like a consultation, contact our firm right away at 858-751-4384.


STAGE 1: Request an APS Hearing must be requested within 10 days of arrest

  • Call must be to the DMV and have the arrest information ready.
  • Request a stay of the temporary license
  • Request discovery
  • Inform DMV whether hearing in person or over phone.
  • Prepare subpoenas for the APS hearing. Serve the necessary subpoenas.

STAGE 2: APS Hearing

  • Hearing is before a DMV hearing officer
  • Hearing Officer acts as judge and prosecutor
  • DMV has to establish:
  • Did the officer have probable cause to stop the driver’s vehicle
  • Did the officer lawfully arrest the driver?
  • Was the driver operating a motor vehicle with .08 or more by weight of alcohol in his/her blood?

San Diego Superior Court

STAGE 1: Arraignment first court appearance

  • Enter a not guilty plea
  • Demand discovery
  • Set date for Readiness Conference
  • Fight off any additional sanctions Prosecutors and Judges want to give on some DUIs (even first time DUI). This is key if you were in a collision or your BAC is over .15%.
  • Attorney Mark Deniz can appear for you.

STAGE 2: Readiness Conference

  • Conference usually two weeks after arraignment if there is no time waiver

STAGE 3: Motions hearings will be heard on motions filed.

  • Argue Motion to Suppress
  • Argue Discovery Motions
  • Create Trial Strategy
  • Subpoena Witness
  • Prepare for Trial

STAGE 4: Jury Trial

  • Pre-trial motions and hearings
  • Jury Selection
  • Opening Statements
  • Cross examine prosecution witnesses
  • Mid Trial motions
  • Defense case
  • Closing arguments
  • Verdict (Not guilty)
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