The population of Los Angeles is approximately 3.9 million, and the bulk of the city’s population uses cars, trucks or motorcycles to get around. Because of LA’s car culture, and the city’s large population many residents are charged with DUI. The California Department of Traffic Safety estimates that in 2014 police made 8,095 DUI arrests.  That’s land the City of Angels in the top ten states for drunk driving arrests.

What Happens After I’m Arrested for DUI in Los Angeles?

Most Californians have never been arrested, so they have no idea what’s going to happen after their arrest. Getting arrested, whether it is a criminal charge or a DUI, will set off a chain of events that move quickly and will have an immense impact on your future. Even if this is your first DUI, for a conviction, you face a 48-hour jail sentence, 30-day license suspension and license restrictions for 90 days, a $390 and $1,000 in penalties and more.

If you are charged with an aggravated DUI, you face enhanced legal repercussions and financial penalties. Below are some aggravating circumstances for DUI charges in California:

Blood alcohol concentration above 0.15 or refusing to submit to a breathalyzer or chemical test (California Vehicle Code 23578)  

DUI with a passenger under 14 years of age

Speeding more than 20 mph over the speed limit on a surface street or 30 mph on an interstate

Prior DUI convictions

Causing an accident that results in multiple injuries or deaths

DUI Arraignment

As soon after your arrest as possible, you will be scheduled for an arraignment. During this hearing, you will enter your plea, guilty or not guilty and a judge will decide on the terms of your bail. When you have legal representation, you can be confident in the plea you enter and get better bail conditions. If you don’t have time to consult with an attorney before arraignment, you can enter your plea without one. However, it’s best to hire a defense attorney as soon as you can. You can always change your plea if you decide you no longer want a jury trial.

Pretrial Conference

After your arraignment, you will be scheduled for a pretrial conference which will take place in a judge’s office. The prosecution will present their evidence and give sentencing suggestions if the judge allows. Your pretrial conference will give you and your defense attorney information you need to decide what direction your defense will take.

In some cases, a defendant will be better off agreeing to a plea bargain, but let a defense lawyer in California decide if the terms are fair. For example, documented and undocumented immigrants can be deported for a DUI conviction if it is a felony count or they are facing a repeat offense.

You can get information that will help you decide whether to take your case to trial or ask for a plea bargain. Get legal advice before you accept a plea bargain.

Going to Trial

It can take weeks or months to get a trial date, depending on how many motions and continuances are entered. When you are scheduled for a trial date for a DUI or criminal offense, you will have to appear in one of the following courts:

Metropolitan Courthouse

1945 Hill Street

Los Angeles, CA 90007


LA County Criminal Appeals

210 W Temple St,

Los Angeles, CA 90012

If you decide to take your case to trial, just be aware that the process is going to take longer and your legal fees will be higher. On the positive side, you’ll avoid the repercussions of having a DUI conviction on your criminal record.

Call a DUI Lawyer in California

Don’t think a DUI arrest isn’t serious, because it is and the repercussions are worse than you anticipate. You should speak with a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles as soon as possible. If you are looking for a lawyer, can help you find one whether you live in Bel Air, Brentwood, Hollywood or Mar Vista.