Archive for the ‘Los Angeles’ Tag

How can I appeal a traffic court decision?   Leave a comment

How Do I Appeal if I am Found Guilty

Judicial Council Form CR-141 has instructions on how to appeal infractions (including parking tickets) and Form CR-142 is used for a notice of appeal for infraction cases.

NOTE: It is important to understand that an appeal is NOT a new trial.  The appellate judge will not consider new evidence, such as the testimony of new witnesses or new exhibits.  The appellate judge’s job is to review a record of what happened in the trial court (or parking agency) to see if certain kinds of legal errors were made in the case; For example Prejudicial Error (things like errors made by the judge about the law, or errors or misconduct by the lawyers that harmed the appellant) or No Substantial Evidence (asks the appellate judge to determine if there was substantial evidence to support the judgment, order, or other decision being appealed).

You do not have to have a lawyer; you are allowed to represent yourself in an appeal in an infraction case.  But appeals can be complicated, and you will have to follow the same rules that lawyers have to follow. Depending on your situation, you may be very well served by spending the money to either consult with an attorney if not fully retain an attorney.

 

Advertisements

What is a “Citation?”   Leave a comment

In California, a traffic case gets started when a traffic ticket (a citation1) is delivered to the court by a law enforcement agency, such as a local police department or the California Highway Patrol.

 

When the court receives the original citation, it opens a file for the case and generates and mails a courtesy notice to the person who was cited2. This courtesy notice will usually give information about:

 

  • The amount of money due to the court for this ticket (called the “bail”);
  • The deadline to respond to the court without additional penalties;
  • Notice that the individual must appear in court in person (“Mandatory Appearance”), or that the citation can be resolved without ever appearing in court;
  • Information regarding traffic violator school eligibility;
  • Information regarding the requirements for clearing a correctible citation (sometimes called a “fix it” ticket).

 

NOTE: If you got a traffic ticket, it is your responsibility to get this information about deadlines or amounts due — whether or not you receive a courtesy notice in the mail.  If you do not receive a courtesy notice, contact the court by the “promise to appear” date on your citation, and ask a clerk to let you know what you need to do.

 

1Citation: A court order or summons that tells a defendant what the charges are. Also tells the defendant to go to court and/or post bail.

 

2Cited: When a defendant is not in custody but has signed a ticket promising to go to court on a certain day; can be used for any infraction, city or county ordinance, or misdemeanor.

How Did I Get a DUI?   Leave a comment

Your DUI journey began when an officer arrested you for suspicion of driving under the influence. The officer then took you in for a blood or breath test (depending on what you consented to) to verify your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If your chemical tests came back with a BAC of .08 or above, a charge of driving with a BAC over .08 was added. If you refused to submit to a chemical test, a “refusal” allegation was added to your charges, and your license is at risk of being suspended for twelve months without appropriate representation.

After the testing phase, you were booked and (depending on the circumstances and your criminal history) released on bail or a promise to appear in court. The arresting officer has prepared and submitted a report to the prosecutor, who has decided to file DUI charges against you.

When you were arrested, the officer confiscated your driver’s license and issued you a pink, temporary license that is valid for thirty-days. You have TEN calendar days (not “business” days) from the day of your arrest to file for a DMV Hearing to determine whether or not your license will be suspended. If you have requested a hearing within that timeframe, any DMV license suspension will be delayed until the outcome of the hearing is determined. If you have not filed for a hearing within ten-days, the DMV will automatically suspend your license for four-months.

(Note: If you have not filed for a hearing and the ten day limit has already passed, contact our office to request an immediate hearing on your behalf so as to avoid the harsh automatic suspension. You are entitled to representation at the DMV hearing to protect your driving privileges.)

Regardless of whether or not you have had a DMV Hearing, you are still subject to the criminal court process and the criminal case against you. If you obtain an experienced attorney to plea “not guilty” on your behalf, your criminal case will be broken down into the following three stages: (1) Arraignment; (2) Pre-Trial Motions; and (3) Plea-Bargaining.

Your arraignment should take place within just a few days of your arrest. Your attorney can appear on your behalf to enter your plea so that you need not make a personal appearance. During the pre-trial phase, your attorney will use motions to reveal flaws in the case against you, gather evidence and corroborate police statements, and strengthen your defense. This is typically the longest phase of your court process and your attorney will spend this time aggressively examining every detail of the case against you. This may involve visiting the scene, evaluating the efficacy of the testing equipment, or any number of other investigatory techniques. A successful DUI attorney will expose so many shortcomings in the prosecution’s case that they will be willing to drop the charges against you. Most DUI cases can be resolved without going to trial. However, it is ultimately your choice of whether to pursue a jury or bench trial.

You could seek to shorten the process yourself and, without guidance from an attorney, go to the arraignment and enter a “guilty” plea. This will take much less time but cost you so much more than just money. Everyone knows that DUI charges, criminal charges, are not something you want to handle on your own. Contact the Law Office of M. Ali Salimi for a free consultation immediately.

Posted 05/09/2012 by Salimi Law in DUI Defense

Tagged with ,