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I have to go to court for my DUI now what?

This article will deal with what happens at the begginning of a DUI case.  And how a DUI case will proceed, and what will happen at your first court date.  As a former probation officer, deputy district attorney, and someone that has both prosecuted and defended DUI cases I know the ins and outs of the system. 

When you are first arrested for a DUI you will have a court hearing date placed on your ticket.  That ticket is your first court date.  Many people think a lot of stuff will happen at that first court date.  However, that first court date is the date when you have what is called an Arraignment. 


Your first court appearance is an arraignment.  At that court date you will be given police reports and other videos etc.  Many people think they can go down to police headquarters or to the CHP and get there police reports.  This is not true.  You must be an Attorney or a victim to get police reports.

You will be appraised of your charges and will enter into a time waiver or set your next court date within the statutory time period.



A time waiver or statutory date means that if you do not enter into some kind of time waiver your next court date will have to be whithin the statutory time.  It depends on the case as to whether you should waive time.  A time waiver can be specific to the time out date, meaning the date the case has to be tried, if the time waiver is specific then you can waive the statutory tme plus a waiver of say ten days.  The court will accept this as a waiver of time.  To go beyond this date there must be good cause. 

a General Time Waiver

a general time waiver means that the time is waived and that there is no specific date that the case must proceeed to trial. 

Of course you should consult your Attorney and listen to them as to what kind of waiver you should enter into. 


Many time she District Attorneys office will not have the case filed by the first court date.  What this means is that for whatever reasons the Deputy District Attorney in charge of filing the case has not got around to filing charges.

in a Misdameanor case the District Attorneys office has one year in which to prosecute a case. That means that they may at any time during that one year period the DA can bring charges regarding a DUI case or any misdo case.  In that case you may be stuck calling the da’s office one time per week to find out if charges have been filed and what those charges are.


As you can see just the begginining of a DUI case can be complex and confusing we have helped many hundreds of clients through this process.  The reason I do this job is to help people get through the worst time of there lfe. 

Give me a call so we can give you a case evealuation and see how we can help you.



Gerald Schwab, Jr.


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Law Office of Gerald Schwab, Jr.
Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney
5588 N Palm Ave,
Fresno, CA 93704 View Map
Phone: 559.441.1418