An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) can bring some serious consequences. It can help those arrested to know what to expect in the way of legal events. While the sequence can vary a bit, most of the below follows a common process. Read on to find out more about what you can expect after being arrested for DUI.
The Accused is Arraigned
Soon after an arrest comes the arraignment. This meeting can happen in a courtroom, but some places install video communication equipment and conduct procedures from the correctional facility. Usually, you'll find yourself among dozens of others arrested the day or weekend before. These meetings in front of a judge are brief and to the point. Several quick but important things happen at an arraignment:
- The defendant is informed of the charges.
- The defendant is asked if they have an attorney and offered a public defender if they cannot afford an attorney.
- The defendant is asked for a plea of either guilty, not guilty, or no contest.
- The defendant is informed about bail.
Bail or No Bail
In most cases, DUI defendants are offered the opportunity to be bailed out. If your case is more serious, however, you might have to wait for your trial to begin from behind bars. Enhanced or felony DUI cases can include:
- Accidents with injuries or deaths.
- Accompanying charges like fleeing or resisting arrest.
- The presence of a minor child in the vehicle.
- Those with multiple past DUI convictions.
- Extraordinarily high blood alcohol results (far above the .08% limit).
Seek Legal Help
DUI charges can mean punishments ranging from the loss of a driver's license to prison time. The courts take DUI cases very seriously and it pays to have an attorney familiar with DUI cases on your side. Every aspect of your arrest can be pulled apart and examined for legality with the goal of reducing or eliminating your charges.
Most all criminal cases are dealt with using plea bargains. This type of deal ends the case without an opportunity to go to trial. Be very sure of what you are agreeing to before you sign a plea bargain agreement. It usually means pleading guilty and that will remain on your criminal record forever.
Getting Ready for Trial
If you don't take a plea bargain, your trial will be set. Discovery procedures involve the sharing of information about the case between the defense and the prosecution. A jury is selected for your case and various hearings on evidence and more can occur prior to the opening statements.
The outcome of the above events depends on your actions and the expertise of your criminal defense lawyer. Contact a law firm, like Daniels Long & Pinsel, for more help.Share