August 14, 2012 By Wallin & Klarich

Your Riverside DUI attorney at Wallin & Klarich gladly answers your questions regarding DUI arrests and DUI charges in California.

The Riverside district attorney has up to 1 year to file a misdemeanor case from the time of the DUI offense. Under Penal Code section 802(a), the prosecution for an offense, not punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, shall be commenced within one year after commission of the offense.

However, the district attorney has up to 3 years to file the case if the possibility exists that the offense could be charged as a felony DUI because there was either:

• An injury to someone other than the defendant;
• The defendant has a prior felony dui within the last 10 years; or • This is the defendant’s forth DUI within ten years.

There could be many reasons why the district attorney did not file the case quickly. Sometimes the district attorney will ask the investigating agency, the police department involved in your case, to conduct a further investigation or to go and interview other witnesses. Sometimes they are too busy with other pending cases.

If the district attorney files the case beyond the 1 year statute of limitations, the defendant can file what is known as a Serna Motion. Generally, the defendant must show that he’s been prejudiced by the delay. Prejudice is presumed when the prosecution delays more than one year. For example, alibi witnesses or other defense evidence may no longer be available.

If you or a loved one is facing a DUI, contact the Riverside DUI attorneys at Wallin and Klarich. We will work to ensure that your rights are protected and that you clearly understand the legal process.

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