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 Los Angeles. The Metro Court has the largest number of misdemeanor DUI cases filed in the 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.
The first court appearance in a DUI criminal case is the arraignment. These take place in Dept. 60 before the Honorable Commissioner Kenneth Taylor, a former Los Angles County deputy public defender. Commissioner Taylor is one of the best bench officers in the county. He understands DUI laws and always shows respect for Los Angeles DUI lawyers who do as well. However, he is tough on defendants and counsel alike when necessary. Depending on the facts of the case, he may order conditions of OR (own recognizance). For example, he 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 3rd time offenses 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 include Dept. 75 (Commissioner Timothy Weiner), Dept. 74 (Judge Susan De Witt), Dept. 73 (Judge Victoria Wilson), and Dept. 72 (Judge Kevin Rosenberg). The judges at the Metro Courthouse frequently change as this is usually the first judicial assignment for new judges. Although it varies, the judges at Metro are usually good. The presiding judge at Metro is Gus May. He deserves much of the credit for training the newer judges to be fair to both sides in DUI cases.
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.