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Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc.
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Ultimate Guide to DUI Court Procedures

Ultimate Guide to DUI Court Procedures

If you are facing DUI charges, it is important for you to understand the DUI court procedures. Since courts handle many criminal procedures, individuals don’t have time to prepare, making it difficult to know what to expect. Our Orange County DUI defense lawyers have created the ultimate guide to DUI court procedures to help you understand what comes next.

If you face DUI charges, you only have ten days to appeal your case and keep your license. Contact our Orange County DUI defense lawyers today for guidance at 949-694-8804


After a person is arrested for a DUI, they are usually taken into police custody and “booked.” Booking is when a police officer takes the suspect’s personal information, information about the alleged crime, fingerprints, and photographs. They will also perform a search on their criminal background and confiscate any personal property carried by the suspect. Then they will place the suspect in a police station cell or local jail.


Bail allows the DUI suspect to pay money in exchange for their release from police custody. If a suspect does want to pay for bail, they will need to appear in court for all scheduled DUI proceedings. Keep in mind that bail is not always granted after booking. The judge reviewing the case determines in a separate hearing if bail will be allowed. To decide, the judge will consider the suspect’s DUI record and criminal history, the seriousness of the DUI offense (injury of others), and their ties to family, community, and employment.

DUI Arraignment

A DUI arraignment is the first stage of court proceedings. During this court proceeding, the criminal court judge will read the criminal charges against the suspect and ask if they have an attorney. They will also ask how the suspect would like to “plead” to the criminal charges. They can plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest.

DUI Preliminary Hearing

A DUI preliminary hearing would take place soon after the arraignment if the suspect pleaded not guilty. At the preliminary hearing, a judge will decide whether the defendant is “guilty” or “not guilty” by analyzing the evidence presented. The prosecutor may call witnesses to testify and introduce physical evidence to convince the judge that the case should go to trial.


If the judge decides that there is enough evidence in the DUI case, there will be a DUI trial. In a criminal trial, a jury examines the evidence to decide whether the defendant committed the crime. It is vital to have an experienced DUI attorney on your side at this stage. A DUI attorney might be able to get your charges reduced or even dismissed.


If you were convicted of DUI at the end of the criminal trial, you might be able to appeal the case. A DUI appeal requests that a higher court review the case for legal error that could alter the results of the case. The grounds for appeal fall under the categories of procedural or substantive. Procedural issues include errors in taking a plea and substantive issues with the evidence presented.

Orange County DUI Defense Lawyers

If you face DUI charges, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Our team at Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. can help you defend your constitutional rights and assist you in avoiding a criminal conviction and the suspension of your driver’s license. If you have additional questions about the DUI court procedures or need guidance on what to do next, we are here to help you.

Contact our Orange County DUI defense attorneys today at 949-694-8804 to schedule a case review!