Statute of Limitations For A DUI In California 


Most assume that DUI arrests, court trials or plea deals happen quickly; but the reality is that for many people, following an arrest for DUI, they may have spent the night in jail, received a notice with a court date included, showed up to that court date (with or without legal representation) only to be informed that the district attorney had not yet filed criminal charges against them. Months can pass, causing some in this situation to wonder what has happened to their case. Has it been dismissed? Has it been forgotten about? Unlikely, and certainly not something you should ever assume. Under California law, district attorneys have a set period of time in which they must file charges following an arrest. This means that your case can be outstanding and charges can still be brought months (sometimes years) after your initial arrest. Protect yourself by being proactive about your case, call an experienced DUI attorney as soon as you can in order to learn more about your rights under the law.

What is a “statute of limitations”?

A statute of limitations is the time period allowed under the law for a lawsuit to be filed or charges to be filed by a district attorney’s office. For DUIs in California, California Penal Code states that the district attorney has a period of one year in which to file criminal charges following an arrest, as long as the charge is a misdemeanor (which most DUI charges are). However, there is no statute of limitations on DUI arrest warrants. Those remain active indefinitely.

Most DUI charges are filed before the date of your first court appearance, but there are a number of reasons why the filing of charges may be delayed. A district attorney’s office may be waiting on blood alcohol content test results or something similar, or their office may just be backlogged with cases. You have a legal right to a fair and speedy trial, and district attorneys must bring criminal charges within the specific time periods allowed by law. District attorneys cannot just hold onto cases indefinitely. If you were arrested for DUI, it is extremely important that you contact a local, experienced DUI law firm in order to preserve your rights under the law. Kosnett Law firm is your local DUI expert firm – we are dedicated to serving our clients and to aggressively fighting any and all charges you may be facing. Our reputation is based on our proven track record, coupled with our extensive experience and knowledge of both California and federal law. We handle all manner of DUI charges and are ready to represent you. Call us today to schedule a free, no-pressure case consultation.

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