The Metropolitan Courthouse, commonly known around Los Angeles as simply "Metro," located at 1945 S. Hill Street in Los Angeles, is where the Los Angeles City Attorney prosecutes misdemeanor DUI cases where the arrests occurred in Central Los Angeles, including downtown Los Angeles, Chinatown, Echo Park, Hollywood, Los Feliz, Mid-City, Mid-Wilshire, Westlake, and Pico-Union, as well as in South Los Angeles. This covers a very large geographical area of the city of Los Angeles. The Metro Court has the largest number of misdemeanor DUI cases filed in the Los Angeles County. Felony DUI cases within this jurisdictional area are not at Metro, rather they are filed at the Criminal Courts Building and are prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney. Some misdemeanor DUI cases that fall outside the jurisdiction of the City Attorney are prosecuted by the District Attorney at Metro.
The first court appearance in a DUI criminal case is the arraignment. These typically take place in Dept. 60 for persons that are out of custody. Persons in county jail custody will have their cases heard in Dept. 66. Depending on the facts of the case, the Court may order conditions of OR (own recognizance). For example, the Judge may order a person charged with DUI to attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) classes or wear an alcohol monitoring device if they wish to remain out of jail custody while the case is pending. These conditions are usually reserved for repeat offenders and/or those with DUI charges involving aggravating factors (such as a very high blood alcohol content or an accident). In certain cases, the court may set bail. Bail is money that a person charged with a crime must pay to the court in order to be released from custody while the case is pending. This is rare in misdemeanor DUI cases but could happen on 2nd or 3rd time offense or those involving probation violations (for example, a person gets charged with a DUI while already on DUI probation for a previous case).
If your DUI case is not resolved at the arraignment stage, then a "not guilty" plea is entered and the matter is assigned to a pre-trial department. There are several courtrooms at the Metro Courthouse where misdemeanor DUI cases are held. DUI pre-trial courtrooms in which the Los Angeles City Attorney prosecutes cases include Departments 71-75. The judges at the Metro Courthouse frequently change as this is usually the first judicial assignment for new judges.
If you have been arrested for DUI and charges have been filed against you at the Metro Courthouse, CONTACT our office today for a free and confidential consultation. Please remember that you must contact the DMV Driver Safety Office to request a hearing if it is alleged that you were driving with a BAC of .08 or higher or if you refused a chemical test following your DUI arrest. Berglund Law Office, P.C. specializes in representing individuals arrested for DUI. The outcome of your DUI case will be determined by a number of factors, including the results of the breath or blood tests, the accuracy of those test results, whether or not there was an accident, the driving pattern, the performance on the field sobriety tests, and other evidence related to alcohol or drug impairment. If you are facing DUI charges, do not go to court alone and represent yourself. CONTACT an experienced and knowledgeable Los Angeles DUI Lawyer.