The DUI process begins the moment you see flashing lights behind your car. Upon arrest you will be handcuffed, placed in the back of a squad car and taken to the police station. You will be asked to blow into the BAC machine or the officer will seek to have your blood drawn. Your car will be impounded and you may even be held in jail overnight.
Upon your release you will eventually receive notice of a court date in a district or municipal court. You will also be given information about the department of licensing. If you don’t show up to court a warrant will be issued. If you don’t seek a DOL hearing your license will be suspended for up to a year.
At arraignment you will be informed of the charges against you. The prosecutor may seek to have bail imposed, have you wear an electronic bracelet and even have an ignition interlock device placed on your car. The court will instruct you not to consume alcohol or non-prescribed drugs. You will be required to return in a month or so for a pretrial conference.
If you request a DOL hearing you will have a chance to save your license. The hearing costs $375.00 and occurs telephonically. If you hire a lawyer your presence at the hearing can be waived.
At the pretrial conference your attorney will likely be given some sort of a plea offer. A good lawyer will fight for you and negotiate a good resolution. Hopefully the case can be dismissed. If you are not guilty and want to go to trial a good lawyer will respect your wishes and be prepared to fight.
A trial can be a bench or jury trial. Your lawyer should file motions on your behalf to suppress harmful evidence. You will have the right to testify and have other witnesses come to court for you. Your lawyer will vigorously cross-examine the arresting officer and the other prosecution witnesses.
A dedicated lawyer will give you all your options. He or she will give you an honest assessment of your chances at trial and let you know whether the prosecutor’s plea offer is a reasonable one. At the end of the day it will be your decision but you need to know your options and have an appropriate amount of time to consider them. Our office does not put pressure on our clients and gives them plenty of time to decide the outcome that works best for their life.