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What to expect in DUI legal proceedings

On Behalf of | May 3, 2024 | Dui/dwai |

Driving under the influence is a severe offense, and getting arrested for it can be a frightening experience. However, it is crucial to act wisely and understand the necessary legal steps that follow from the moment the police take you into custody.

Staying calm, understanding your rights and seeking legal help soon after the arrest is crucial. How you act during these moments will set the stage for addressing the charges you are facing. 

Booking

The first step after a DUI arrest is the booking process. Once you arrive at the police station, law enforcement will record your personal information and alleged crime and take your fingerprints and booking photographs. You will also have to hand over any personal belongings for storage until you are up for release. This process can be stressful, but it is essential to remain cooperative all throughout. 

Arraignment

DUI suspects usually spend the night in custody before facing their arraignment schedule the following morning. This will be your first appearance before a judge. During arraignment, the judge will explain the charges you face, set the bail and ask if you wish to have a public defender or hire your own attorney. If you already have an attorney, they may argue for your bail amount and allow you to go home until your next court date. 

Preliminary hearings

Your lawyer might file pre-trial motions to challenge the state’s evidence against you or to dismiss the charges if you experienced a violation of your rights during the arrest. Preliminary hearings will address these motions, providing you with opportunities to potentially reduce the severity of your situation before the official trial begins. 

Trial

If your case goes to trial, your defense lawyer will present evidence and make arguments on your behalf. Your job during this part of the legal proceedings is to present yourself well and follow your lawyer’s guidance. If you lose your case, your lawyer might negotiate for lesser penalties or alternative sentencing. 

Facing a DUI charge can be daunting, but knowing what steps to take throughout the legal process can help you manage your situation effectively. 

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