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No, DUI charges against Paul Pelosi haven’t been dropped; charges haven’t been filed yet

Paul Pelosi’s DUI charges have not been dropped, as some claim. The case is under review and Pelosi, the husband of Nancy Pelosi, is scheduled to appear in court.

On May 29, Paul Pelosi, the 82-year-old husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in Northern California.

On June 8, Miami Standard, a Florida-based tabloid website, posted an article with the headline: “Charges Against Pelosi’s Husband Dropped, Cops Claim No Footage of Arrest.”

The claim was also shared across Twitter and has gone viral on Facebook, with some alleging California Governor Gavin Newsom played a role in the charges being dismissed.

THE QUESTION

Were DUI charges against Paul Pelosi dropped?

THE SOURCES 

THE ANSWER

This is false.

No, Paul Pelosi’s charges have not been dropped. That’s because the charges haven’t been filed yet. Pelosi isn’t formally charged until an arraignment happens, and that isn’t scheduled until August.   

WHAT WE FOUND

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) booked Paul Pelosi on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol on May 29 after responding to a report of a crash involving him in Napa, CHP communications director Fran Clader told VERIFY in an email. 

Pelosi was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and for driving with a .08% blood alcohol content or higher. But that doesn’t mean charges were filed -- police don’t file charges when they arrest someone. Instead, they refer the case to an attorney, in this case, the Napa County District Attorney. 

“The case is currently under review to decide what, if any, charges will be filed against Mr. Pelosi. This is standard protocol for any DUI case that is referred by a law enforcement agency in Napa County,” a statement from the Napa County District Attorney Allison Haley said. 

California law requires prosecutors to arraign a detained person within 48 business hours of arrest if they remain in detention. An arraignment is when the judge tells a defendant what charges have been formally filed against them. But if a person is released from custody, for example if they post bail, prosecutors can instead arraign them within 60 days, or even after that if they show good cause as to why there was a delay.

Records show Pelosi posted a $5,000 bail and was released shortly after his arrest. He is scheduled to return to court on Aug. 3 for his arraignment if the DA’s office decides to file criminal charges, which is within the limits of California law. 

Bay Area attorney Aaron Bortel says this timeframe is common for DUI arrests. 

“In San Francisco, it may happen within two to three weeks. In other counties, it can take two or more months, but typically, it’s within a month,” Bortel said on his website.

The California Highway Patrol commissioner does report to California Governor Gavin Newsom, but claims that Newsom intervened to have the charges dropped are not true, according to Newsom’s office. 

“The Governor has had absolutely zero involvement,” an email from the governor’s office said. 

Nancy Pelosi declined to comment on the matter to the Associated Press (AP). A spokesperson for Nancy Pelosi told the AP: “The Speaker will not be commenting on this private matter which occurred while she was on the East Coast.”

Nancy Pelosi was in Providence, Rhode Island, at the time of her husband’s arrest. 

VERIFY submitted a Public Records Act request for Paul Pelosi’s arrest report, but had not yet received a copy from the CHP at the time of publication.

More from VERIFY: Yes, a Tennessee bill would require drunk drivers to pay child support if they kill a parent

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