Court Date – 1 Month After Arrest
In most Ventura DUI cases, the first court date is about a month after the date of arrest. It is almost always scheduled on your paperwork at 8:15 am in Department 118 of the Ventura Superior Court. However, your case will actually be on calendar at 9:00 am in Department 10. You, or your attorney, must attend this court date, or a warrant for your arrest will most likely be issued.
First Appearance – Arraignment
The first appearance in a Ventura DUI case is called an arraignment. Arraignment is the stage where the court formally notifies you of the charges you are facing. Without an attorney, you can expect to sit in Department 10 for most of the morning, and sometimes the afternoon, while you wait to hear your name called among the hundred or so others. None of the officers will be present, and there will not be any evidence presented.
Without an Attorney?
When your name is called, you must come to the front of the courtroom and stand at the podium. The judge will ask if you have an attorney, and inquire as to the punishment sought by the notoriously tough Ventura District Attorney's office. Due to the hundred or so other cases on calendar that morning, your decisions often have to be made instantly. You will not be permitted to the talk to the prosecutor and will not even see the police reports.
Public Defender – IF You Qualify
You can apply for a court appointed attorney, also known as a public defender. If you qualify, you will quickly be ushered into a room, sometimes along with 15 or so others, and spend a minute or so going over your case with the public defender. While the public defender can represent you in court, they cannot and will not do so when it comes to any of the matters involving DMV and your license. Unless you plead guilty on the first day, you will almost certainly be required to come back to court a second time and repeat the entire process.
Ventura DUI Attorney Jasen Nielsen
In nearly every Ventura DUI case, I appear on behalf of my client at the first court date. It does not look bad to the judge or to the prosecutor. I continue the arraignment about a month and immediately send the police reports to you. I then schedule a meeting with you to discuss the positives and negatives of your case, and develop our game plan for fighting and/or mitigating the charges and punishment you are facing.
It is imperative that the court case is handled in concert with the DMV hearing, in order to minimize the length of any potential license suspension you may be facing. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it is during this stage that any legal motions may be researched and written challenging the reason you were pulled over and/or arrested.
There are many factors that go into the decision as to whether to fight or mitigate a Ventura DUI case. As a former Ventura DUI prosecutor who has represented hundreds of clients faced with Ventura DUI cases, I have the knowledge, experience and professional relationships to get you the best possible outcome. If you have been arrested for a DUI in Ventura County, please call me today at to schedule a free consultation.