DUI Court Delays Caused by California Budget Cuts

Recent budget cuts in the California court system have resulted in closed courts, fewer staff and many delays in civil cases, but also in criminal cases such as DUI and drug arrest trials and hearings.

An LA Times article states that the California courts have lost about 65% of their state support in the last 5 years and affects from those cuts are continuing to increase. These cuts are causing delays in hearings and trials, causing records to go unprocessed for many months, and reducing the number of services at public windows.

What does this mean for those arrested for a DUI?

One of the most damaging results of a DUI is the temporary loss of your driver’s license.  Normally, the California DMV will automatically suspend your driver’s license unless you request a DMV hearing within ten days of your arrest.  This delays suspension until the outcome of the hearing is determined.  If you win your hearing, no suspension occurs.  But, how will this affect you if the court delays your hearing due to recent budget cuts? When you do finally have a hearing and the hearing officer decides that the officer reasonably believes that you were driving under the influence, you were lawfully arrested and you had a BAC of 0.08% or higher, then your license will be suspended at that time. With the California court budget cuts, this could mean that the first hearing is delayed by weeks or months and the amount of time without your driver’s license could be devastating to your work and personal life. 

What happens if you get a DUI arrest in California but live in another state?

If you are arrested for a DUI in the State of California but live in another state, the arresting officer will give you notice that your driving privileges in California will be suspended in 30 days. The California DMV is notified and you have 10 days from your arrest to challenge the suspension by requesting a hearing. As mentioned above, the license suspension is delayed until the outcome of the hearing. But with recent budget cuts, does this hearing still take place as quickly as before?  Probably not.  And if you lose the hearing, your driving privileges in California will be suspended for up to 4 months for first offenses and longer for those with previous DUI convictions. 

Other Consequences of a DUI arrest in California for Out-of-State Residents

Suspended driving privileges in California will most likely affect your driver’s license in your home state as well. All but 5 states in the U.S. belong to the Interstate Drivers License Compact (IDLC), which means that your home state will get notified of any driving arrests and will most likely take additional action against your driver’s license and record. The only states that do not belong to the IDLC are Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee and Wisconsin.  

Even if you don’t live in California or don’t request a hearing you will be involved in a DUI criminal court proceeding in the State of California. The California Superior Court takes actions that are separate from the California DMV.  These proceedings can be costly and time consuming. It is in your best interest to hire a California DUI attorney to assist you thru the process, especially if you are unable to attend all the court appearances because you live out of state. 

There are a number of hearings and court appearances that may result in reduced or dismissed charges and the case may or may not go to trial.  In either case, the process is going to take much longer with the delays occurring from the California court budget cuts.  

In many cases, your DUI attorney or the judge will recommend court approved online DUI Alcohol Programs as part of your sentence. Tom Wilson Counseling Center provides online DUI classes specifically designed for out-of-state residents that received a DUI in the State of California.

Register online for the following online classes.  We accept VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express, as well as debit cards.  If you need to arrange to make payments, please call our office directly at 1.877.368.9909, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm MST.

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