Why Does the DUI Process Take so Long to Get Answers?

Why Does the DUI Process Take so Long to Get Answers?

At the beginning of the DUI defense process in San Diego county, you must first understand what true unreasonableness it is to expect an attorney to tell you exactly what is going to happen.

Penalties are always potentially very significant. Your top DUI Specialist Attorney will be better prepared and cater most of its focus towards “attention to detail.” This is why in instances of needing a DUI lawyer it is smart to go with the best reviewed lawyer who exclusively handles DUI case.

Here’s some reasons why the DUI process typically takes so long for you to get any answers or updates about your case.

Typical DUI Prosecutor Behavior:

  • Your lawyer cannot deal with the prosecutor and/or judge until after the first court date.
  • The prosecutor has no obligation to provide any information or to file any charges until after the first court date.
  • The prosecutor tends to wait until just before the first scheduled court date to issue a formal written complaint filed in the Court Clerk’s Office at which point a case number is assigned.
  • The prosecutor will not provide any evidence to your lawyer until after the first court date – there is no legal requirement to do so until your lawyer makes the initial court appearance.

What to Expect from Your Attorney:

  • Beginning with your side of the story by way of your online DUI consultation form, your lawyer will get an idea of essential pieces of information in order to properly start your case and diligently move forward with the next steps.
  • Your attorney reserves the court date you provide.  As agreed, he/she ensures their availability for court and for investigation of any development.
  • Your attorney will require all the evidence available, not just the police report from that agency.  (Your lawyer can only order DUI evidence through a separate criminal procedure after your court appearance date.)


  • Fortunately, there is a usual way to get discovery prior to the court date – the DMV.
  • If the DMV 10 day deadline is met, the hearing is timely requested.
  • When DMV contacts your lawyer, he or she reserves and ensures availability for the DMV date.
  • Your attorney orders discovery from the DMV, stops (holds and “stays”) the suspension from beginning within 30 days of the incident, and requests a new temporary license or notice of stay.
  • Your attorney may ultimately receive the same discovery for both the DMV and the Court. If anything different is provided at a later point in either procedure, your attorney will be provided a copy to forward to you.

Understanding the Lengthy Process:

  • Until your DUI lawyer does their due diligence in ordering, obtaining, and studying the documentary evidence, there is no way to even get a cursory idea of direction.
  • The process is slow. This is not a race. It is about getting the best possible outcome for your case.
  • One must understand that he or she will not know any possible results for quite a long time.
  • One of the reasons your initial court date appears so far in the future is because the prosecuting DUI attorney’s San Diego county office must first conduct due diligence.

How it Starts:

  • It starts with the officer writing and completing his DUI report, the DMV DS 367 form, and recorded test results.  (The officer may revise these documents in the future.)
  • The report then has to be submitted to the supervising officer to be signed off before separately sending it to the prosecutor and the DMV.  (This could take days.)
  • The police agency liaison officer must be provided with the copies.  Delivery is then scheduled.  Delivery is then made.  The documents are then moved to someone’s intake desk.
  • All those people know how far out the court date is. They work for the government. They’re in no rush.
  • Eventually, at the prosecutor’s office, the documents are scanned and copied. They are then assigned to an attorney’s desk.
  • Subsequently, a deputy prosecutor reads the reports. More pieces of evidence may be requested.
  • Test results are ordered. The laboratory then gets involved and goes through a similar process of transmittal and receipt of evidence and documents.
  • Ultimately, the prosecutor decides what charges to file.

What to Expect Next:

  • If the separate DMV hearing was requested within 10 days from the date of incident, your attorney can request the discovery documents from DMV.  However, the State is notoriously overworked, understaffed, and underpaid, making this a rather slow process.
  • After the documents are received, your attorney will immediately provide copies to you.
  • Your lawyer will then read the discovery and updates you.  (You will always be kept in the loop and apprised of any development.)
  • Before you know what is going to happen, your attorney must meet with the prosecuting attorney and/or judge.  (Your lawyer will promptly notify you in writing.)
  • DMV delay ordinarily does not prejudice you given your driving privilege remains intact pending the outcome.

              **It is not unusual for the administrative date to sometimes be rescheduled by DMV.**

Awaiting the Outcome:

  • As you can begin to see, your attorney simply cannot predict any possible outcomes in your case until everything is done.  (The California State Bar legally precludes an attorney from predicting an outcome in a criminal case.)
  • While you are waiting for your lawyer, there is not a lot for you to do.  Your lawyer knows that is frustrating but all you can do is wait.
  • Your attorney will mail or email you what he or she receives/obtains as soon as he or she receives it.
  • If you have any question, you can always email your attorney and expect a quick response.
  • You can count on the fact that your attorney is working vigorously and diligently on your case, so your patience, understanding and consideration is appreciated.
  • Please do not worry as your lawyer will handle everything.


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