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Declining to File Charges for a DUI

If you were arrested for driving under the influence in Orange County, California and you showed up for court only to receive a memo from the DA’s office stating that the office “read your California Highway Patrol incident report and is declining to file charges at this time,” you may be wondering what on Earth is going on.

You’re not 100% sure what this memo means, but at the same time you’re not exactly eager to give the DA’s Office a call and remind them about your DUI if you don’t have to. Does this mean you’re off the hook for DUI? Maybe, maybe not.

The memo might have even been written within days of your DUI arrest, and now you’re wondering if they saw something in the report that dissuaded them from filing charges – at least you hope that’s the case. Perhaps you’re feeling a little confused right about now and you won’t believe it until 3, 6, or even 12 months pass and you never hear back from the courts, and that’s understandable.

What You Need to Know

If you’re in the limbo described above, here are a few things you need to know:

  • If there was no collision or injury and this was your first, second, or third DUI, it was a misdemeanor offense.
  • The statute of limitations for misdemeanor DUIs is one year from the date of arrest. This means the prosecutor has up to one year to file charges.
  • Watch the mail; the DA or police department may still send you information about a new appearance date.
  • Since the DA has one year to file, make sure that your address is current with the Department of Motor Vehicles. No one wants a bench warrant for failing to appear.
  • The DA’s office could be waiting on blood results or another piece of information to see if they want to proceed.

You Could Have a No-File or Prosecution Reject

You could have a “prosecution reject” or a “no-file,” but without all of the information we can’t tell you for sure. If the state is waiting on your blood results or another piece of the puzzle, then it’s a “no-file” situation. If the DA’s office has reviewed everything and now they’ve decided not to move forward, this would be a “prosecution reject.” In any case, it’s in your best interests to consult with a local DUI lawyer to ensure that you’re not caught off-guard or unprepared.

Whatever you do, do not contact the DA’s office yourself, and never contact the authorities personally. You always want an attorney who’s familiar with the jurisdiction to handle it for you.

Let us help you clear this up for good. Contact one of Orange County’s top DUI defense firms, the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc.!