Your First Court Appearance. Assuming you don’t hire a DUI Lawyer to go with you…one of 5 Things Will Happen….
1. You will choose to plead guilty or no-contest. If you do this in misdemeanor court, the judge will usually sentence you right there. Please remember that if this is a multiple offense the judge may take you into custody right there. Also, if you do not have a license, do not drive to court, it can leave to further problems (have a friend drive you).
2. You choose to represent yourself and enter a plea of not-guilty. Although not complete, I recommend that you look at fellow Monterey DUI Defense attorney’s guide…http://www.slideshare.net/mewattorney/monterey-salinas-dui-attorney-guide-to-surviving-your-dui. It may not be complete, but it’s the best thing I’ve found on the internet so far.
3. You ask for a continuance. Usually if it’s the first appearance the judge will allow one week continuance in a Monterey DUI Case to either get an attorney or for some specific reason.
4. You can request a public defender if your income is low enough. Please arrive early so you can fill out the financial application. Also, please be honest, on occasion they do audit these and you can get in even more trouble if you lie to get free or low cost help.
5. You arrive in court and your case is not listed (this happens often). If this happens, go to the District Attorneys office and get proof you went to court. Many times they just haven’t filled out the paperwork yet so don’t get too excited. Be careful, if this happends, make sure you check in regularly because they will put the case back in the courtroom and if you don’t show (because they didn’t inform you), they will usually ask the court to issue a warrant for your arrest.
The above is just general information and as common sense and the California State Bar reminds, you should get specific advice for the facts of your case….especially if you need to save your license, your job, or stay out of jail if the facts can lead to that.