About The Metropolitan Courthouse
Many of those arrested for DUI in Downtown L.A. will have their court hearing at the Los Angeles Superior Metropolitan Courthouse.
You will find the Metropolitan Courthouse at 1945 South Hill Street in Downtown L.A., just across from the L.A. County D.A.'s Office. It is situated on South Hill right between West 21st Street and Washington Blvd.
You can find the courthouse's criminal clerk on the 2nd floor a window number one or window number three, or you could call in at 213-745-3203.
You would do well to arrive early for your court hearing since a late-show can be taken as a no-show and result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest. The Metropolitan Courthouse opens at 8am and stays open till 4:30pm on most weekdays.
Arrested on DUI in Downtown LA
DUI arrests typically occur in one of three ways. You may have been stopped based on a traffic violation, pulled over based on a problem with your car, or arrested at the scene of an accident. A fourth common way is to be arrested at a DUI checkpoint.
The arresting officer will say on the police report (and in court) that he/she smelled alcohol on your breath, saw you had bloodshot eyes, that you failed the PAS (breathalyzer) test, or that you failed one or more of the field sobriety tests. The prosecution must present some kind of rationale for why you were thought to be intoxicated and for why you were stopped and tested to begin with.
The next step in a DUI arrest is to be taken to a police station, jail, or hospital for BAC level testing. If you register .08% or higher BAC, it is an automatic DUI; and that number is .04% for commercial drivers, and .01% for those under 21 years old. However, it can take several days for the BAC blood test results to get back from the lab.
In the mean time, you will have been given a "pink slip," that is, a temporary 30-day license to use until your DMV hearing (after you are released from jail and assigned a court date.)
But note that your DMV hearing is not automatic. If you don't request one within 10 days of your arrest (not business days, real days), you lose that right forever. Attorney Ross H. Sobel can contact the DMV for you, arrange your hearing, and get your pink-slip license extended to your hearing date even if that date is past the 30-day mark. And he can represent you at your arraignment and jury trial as well.
How to Fight a California DUI Charge
Some try to fight a DUI charge by not cooperating during the traffic stop and/or arrest, or by refusing to submit to the BAC chemical test. That rarely works out. Refusing the chemical test can get you longer suspension periods if you lose your hearing, and it will disqualify you from obtaining a temporary license to drive to/from work and DUI School. (But there are ways to fight the allegation that you refused the test as well.)
The best way to fight a DUI allegation is to obtain the services of an experienced DUI defense attorney. Many assume (wrongly) that there is no way to defeat a DUI charge. In reality, we at The Law Offices of Ross Howell Sobel win DUI cases on a routine basis. That can mean at the DMV hearing or trial, and it can mean a dismissal, acquittal, or a reduced charge/sentence.
You also need to realize that there are a number of viable defenses we can use to fight your DUI (which one depends on the details of the case.)
We can see if you were stopped without probable cause, arrested unlawfully, not read your Miranda Rights, or if your rights were violated in any way. That can bar evidence from consideration and effectively win a dismissal.
We can also challenge the validity of the blood test, breath test, FSTs, and other evidences of the prosecution on various grounds; plus, we can sometimes even challenge the propriety/completeness of the police report or the credibility of the arresting officer as a witness (based on past complaints issued against him/her.)
Many of these strategies will be played out during pretrial motions, though some could begin to develop at the arraignment or in the midst of a jury trial. And of course, we will find mitigating and exculpatory evidence in your favor to help build you a solid defense.
And even in those instances where a complete victory is unrealistic, we will apply our well seasoned negotiation skills to secure you the best possible plea deal, which may include a reduction in charge to wet/dry reckless driving or to a less severe DUI charge. And we can work to reduce suspension periods and fines, gain you a restricted license, prevent the need for an IID (ignition interlock device), and above all, find a way to keep you out of jail through "alternative" sentencing options.
Contact Us Today For Help
At The Law Offices of Ross Howell Sobel, we have decades of experience and thousands of DUI cases under our belt. Attorney Ross H. Sobel has seen DUI cases just like yours in the past, and he will know how to win your case.
If you are facing DUI charges in Downtown LA and/or have a court appearance scheduled at the Metropolitan Courthouse, do not hesitate to turn to us for help. Call us anytime 24/7 at 818-582-2350, and we will give you a free, no-obligation consultation and waste no time in getting started on building you a solid defense.