What Is The DUI Legal Process?

Law Blog

DUI charges invoke administrative and criminal proceedings where the convicted can receive different penalties based on the extent of the offense.

If you are a first-time offender, you may be unsure of the court process, which may also seem confusing and intimidating. However, learning about the legal process can help you follow the case and challenge it accordingly. Discover the steps followed in a DUI case.

1. Arrest

If an officer pulls you over, conducts a sobriety test, and finds you have been driving under the influence of alcohol, the first step is to arrest you. You are then put into custody as you wait for the processing of the official charges.

Also, the officers record your information in the police database, including your personal information, fingerprints, and a mugshot. After this, you can either pay bail or go to court. The bail varies depending on the situation, and the officers may release you till the date of the case hearing.

2. Arraignment

This is a vital hearing where the judge reads the DUI charges. After that, you can either plead guilty or not guilty. However, you should plead not guilty to stand a chance to challenge the case. Contact a local DUI lawyer to help dismiss the charges in such a case.

Ideally, pleading guilty poses difficulties in the future regarding your employment and education, among other opportunities. The judge then gives you the next court date depending on your plea.

3. Plea Bargain

In this stage, a defense attorney tries to reduce the charges. In this regard, it is crucial to seek help from a competent DUI lawyer to fight the charge and, in return, save your reputation and future. Finally, with a plea bargain, you can plead guilty to the charges in exchange for reduced legal consequences with a plea bargain.

4. Trial

If you do not take a plea bargain, your DUI attorney then argues your case before the jury and the judge at trial. They break down the charge's elements, and the jury should not return the conviction if any doubt exists.

Also, your DUI lawyer challenges any evidence provided by the jury to raise doubts that you committed the crime. The jury then deliberates the case to give their final verdict.

Although the juries are unpredictable, proper presentation by a DUI lawyer increases your chances of winning the case. Once the juries conclude on your case, they read the final verdict.

5. Sentencing

Following the trial, the judge will determine the appropriate sentencing based on the extent of the offense. In this regard, the penalties range from fines, license suspension, or a jail term.

DUI charges may have adverse effects on your background check. For this reason, you should act as soon as possible to save your reputation. A local DUI lawyer can help you with the legal process and reduce the offense's impact on your life.


12 July 2022