What To Expect When Going To Court For A DUI Case In Marin County
In this article, you will learn:
- How a lawyer can help a client from the very first trial
- Consequences of representing yourself or hiring a sub-par attorney
Assuming we are talking about the first court appearance, Marin County differs from other counties. Typically if you have a misdemeanor DUI that you have been arrested for, you have a court date, and you would go into a courtroom. If you don’t have a lawyer, you will be given some paperwork and another court date. You’d be told to talk to a public defender or get yourself a private attorney. That’s what the courts recommend, and that’s what I recommend because no one should be representing themselves on a DUI case; there’s just too much going on and too much at risk. It’s not worth it.
So, if you do get a lawyer, if you were to hire myself or another qualified lawyer to handle your DUI case, typically, if we are hired before that court date, we would go into the clerk’s office and complete some paperwork to enter a not guilty plea. The DA’s office will forward us the complaint and the charges against you in a police report. Then, another court date will come up where either the attorney will go in person into the courtroom or if they are still doing Zoom court in Marin County, the attorney can appear that way. I prefer to go in person, especially because I am often showing the court documents or filing documents. I just like to talk to the judge in person and not on a TV screen, but everyone is doing it differently.
What happens at that court appearance depends on each case. If you had a high alcohol level or if you have prior DUIs, accidents, things that are more than just you blew a drink or two over the limit, the DA’s office will often be asking the court to put you on supervision or some requirements while the case is going on. Typically, they want a minimum of a couple of AA meetings a week. Unfortunately, it happens to people who either go in there without an attorney or to attorneys who don’t have the experience or don’t deal with these cases daily as I do. The judge will often order that person to put an ankle bracelet on or have the probation office do that in Marin County, and it’s an alcohol monitor called a SCRAM device or a TAD device.
So, for the next many months or however long your case is going on, you’ve got to wear this device that registers whether you have any alcohol. It’s uncomfortable and inconvenient because you can’t go in a bathtub, swimming pool, or hot tub; it itches and is tight. People can see it under your pant leg at work, and you don’t want one of those put on. So if you have an attorney, that attorney can talk to you before that court date happens about things that people can do that can help the attorney convince the judge that the device should not go on. I’m very good at advising to help avoid those monitors. Sometimes AA meetings are advisable, sometimes it is therapy.
In more extreme cases, it might be an outpatient or inpatient program, starting a DUI School, or sometimes it’s putting an interlock on a vehicle if it’s a pretty extreme case because the judge wants to make sure that this isn’t going to come back to bite them. Judges in Marin County tend to be extremely careful to protect the public and their jobs. Therefore, it is vital to have the right attorney who knows how to advise you on what’s appropriate for your situation to avoid having an alcohol monitor strapped to your ankle for many months while fighting the case.
For more information on Going To Court For DUI In Marin County, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you seek by calling (415) 886-6333 today.