Appealing DUI Convictions in California

Being charged with and then sentenced for DUI ends the prosecution’s case – at least in their eyes. Sometimes, however, the trial court gets things wrong. In other cases, the state steps outside its legal limitations to sentence or convict you.

When certain parts of your DUI conviction do not add up, or numerous procedural errors exist, offenders are within their constitutional rights to appeal their sentencing. It is the duty of your trial lawyer, or perhaps another you retain, to handle the appeals process. This quick guide shows how that process may work in California.

Sentencing Appeals

Hiring an experienced, well-versed and highly aggressive DUI attorney for your appeal goes without saying, especially since writing the Supreme Court of California takes specific lingo, case law references, and understanding of DUI laws.

Upon receiving all court case notes, all police reports and everything else from your original case, your attorney will look for.

  • Legal mistakes which, if taken to trial, could have affected the outcome
  • Typographical errors missed by court clerk when filing the final sentencing order
  • Misinformation that led presiding judge towards inaccurate sentencing
  • Failing to follow Supreme Court regulated sentencing guidelines

Appeals Process

DUI attorneys have tight time constraints, which means doing your part, when asked, will speed up the process. Here are the steps (not in any order) that will occur during your DUI appeal:

  • Attorney will file notice in open court that you are appealing the final outcome, which will generally happen shortly after you have been sentenced.
  • Then, attorney will gather your record of proceedings from the clerk, otherwise called a transcript. Anything else relevant to your appeal will also be levied in this examination.
  • After carefully reviewing all information and finding enough errors to contest, your DUI attorney will prepare a written brief, or detailed statement which merits your sentencing getting overturned.
  • DA will file their written brief in rebuttal, stating why your sentencing should be upheld.
  • Once Supreme Court has all literature, judge(s) will convene to settle your case for good.

After this process is complete, the Supreme Court will come back with two decisions based off their findings, historic cases similar to yours and common law. Those are:

  • Sentence affirmed. This means that nothing was discovered to be erroneous, and your current sentence stands. This decision is usually firm, and not appealed again.
  • Sentence remanded to trial court. This means enough erroneous information in your DUI sentencing hearing, or throughout the entire process, was found and the case – or parts of your sentence – are remanded to trial court (original court) where judge must provide an ethical, legal, and wise outcome. It can not be identical to the current one. It is possible that judges make mistakes, which opens doors for the appeals process to begin again.

Appeals making their way up through the system have taken years to finalize, which means the sense of urgency in hiring your current DUI attorney, or at least on with knowledge of DUI appeals, is vital.  Rarely have defendants on their own written appeals in California which were decided favorably.

Choose wisely when something important like appealing convictions could erase your record, lighten your sentence, or provide relief from excess fees.

Need to appeal your conviction of DUI? James E. Blatt works hard to get cases dismissed for procedural error. Contact a superior Los Angeles DUI defense attorney today.