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Criminal Process

Your arrest signifies the beginning of the criminal process in your Santa Clara DUI case. According to the law in Santa Clara, the arresting officer must have probable cause in order to stop any vehicle where the driver is suspected of DUI.  The only exception to this is those cases where the stop occurs at a DUI checkpoint. During the booking period following arrest, you will most likely be asked to take a test to measure your blood alcohol level. You may also be asked to take several field sobriety tests before the blood alcohol test.

At this point, you will be taken to the police station where you will be formally charged and either released on your own recognizance or held until you post bond for your release.  If you are held in custody for your Santa Clara DUI charge, your arraignment will occur no later than 72 hours from the date of your arrest. The only exception to this is if the deadline falls on a weekend, in which case you can be held for up to one additional day. If you are not held in custody for your Santa Clara DUI charge, your arraignment will be scheduled for a later date as determined by the judge.


The charges levied against you will be formally read at your arraignment hearing.  In addition to these charges you will also hear your rights.  You will be expected to enter a plea to the charges at this time. If you have retained a qualified Santa Clara DUI lawyer, he or she may appear in court and submit a plea on your behalf. This way, you can tend to your work and family obligations with minimal upheaval.  Without legal representation, you must show up at your arraignment and advocate on your own behalf. Should you fail to do so, a bench warrant for your arrest will be issued.  Far more severe charges than the initial DUI charge will be levied.  It is imperative that you take your case seriously and hire an experienced Santa Clara DUI attorney to work for you.

Pretrial Motions

Pretrial motions can be submitted at the arraignment.  However, the most common approach is to submit them at a later time.  Examples of possible motions your legal defense team can submit on your behalf at this time include motions to dismiss the case, to suppress evidence, or other types of motions The prosecution may also offer a plea agreement at this time. With so many legal avenues to navigate, the average citizen cannot hope to understand all the laws and regulations pertaining to his or her case. This is what makes having an experienced Santa Clara DUI attorney so important.  He or she will be able to look at the evidence in your case and decide which motions should be filed, and whether or not a plea agreement is one you should take.


If your Santa Clara DUI case goes to trial, the hearings will typically go on for several days.  The prosecution and the defense will present their cases to the jury.  A highly-skilled Santa Clara DUI lawyer will examine the circumstances in your particular situation and tailor your defense to your unique situation.  Witnesses may be called by both the prosecution and the defense. Evidence will be submitted as well – your Santa Clara DUI attorney should know what to look for in these instances, and how best to defend you in front of the jury. Once all testimony has been heard, and the evidence has been presented by both sides, the prosecution and defense will give closing arguments and the jury will be prepared for deliberations.  The judge will instruct the jury on how to apply the facts of your case to the law.

Jury Deliberations

During this stage in the criminal process, the jury is allowed to deliberate on your case.  They will make decisions based on the evidence presented in the case.  In addition to reviewing the evidence, the jury will carefully consider the arguments presented by both the prosecution and defense. The time needed for deliberation in a Santa Clara DUI case will vary, depending on the complexity of the case and the disposition of the jurors.  If you are convicted then the sentencing phase will begin. Even at this stage, a skilled Santa Clara DUI attorney will be able to help support you throughout this stage, and prepare you for the various outcomes.


Should a conviction be returned in your Santa Clara DUI case, there are several possible sentences that you can receive for a misdemeanor charge.  Your highly-skilled and experienced Santa Clara DUI attorney might be able to help you to avoid jail time. Some options include community service, counseling programs, and probation. Expert Santa Clara DUI attorneys will be up to date on all the latest sentencing possibilities for your case.

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Dealing with DUI charges can be a lot to handle. You want an attorney who will treat your case as a priority and fight for your rights during this crucial time when so much is at stake. At our firm when we take on a case, your cause becomes our cause. Every single client is treated as a priority. In addition, every case is personally handled by the same attorney from beginning to end. That same attorney attends your court proceedings and DMV hearing. We also take the time to make sure you understand your case and know what to expect during the legal process right from the start. Hiring the right attorney can make all the difference in your DUI case. Please do not hesitate to call our office today for a free consultation.

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