Your arraignment is the first court appearance you will have in your DUI criminal proceedings. The arraignment provides you with your first opportunity to plead guilty, not guilty, or “no contest” to your California DUI charges. You may qualify for a public defender, in which case, you will be counseled prior to pleading guilty, if that is what you choose to do. Consequently, you have the opportunity to be sentenced immediately. However, if you have a viable defense, you may not see it in the initial reports and that is why many people choose to hire private counsel, especially if the law firm offers a payment plan, such as San Diego Defenders. Many times, people call a law firm and express how difficult it is to get a job with a DUI on their record. “I should have stopped to think of the consequences” is what is said. There are four divisions of the Superior Court in San Diego County. San Diego Central (Downtown San Diego), South Bay Division (Chula Vista), East County (El Cajon), and North County Division (Vista). This article links you with the map to each location. If you plead not guilty a future date (Readiness Conference) will be set for 4-6 weeks out. It will be noted if you have an attorney and if you do not you may be assigned a Public Defender. If you hire a private attorney, in between your Arraignment and Readiness you or your San Diego DUI lawyer will be able review the prosecution’s evidence (discovery). This includes a copy of the police report, any recordings visual or audio and access to the maintenance records of the testing instrument(s) that were used. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI or related crimes please contact our office at (619)233-6900 for a free and confidential consultation with an experienced attorney.