Being pulled over and charged with DUI is no fun. But even when you have made the best of plans for a safe ride home, things happen and you might get pulled over after having a few drinks. Everyone reacts differently in this situation, and the way you respond might impact your case down the road, but the blueprint of how the case proceeds is typically the same for all cases. Of course there are always cases with extraordinary circumstances, but by and large every DUI case takes the same path. And, knowing what that path is can help you to prepare an effective defense and maybe even save your right to drive.
Five steps to every DUI case include:
- A traffic stop and an arrest. At the time of the traffic stop; which can be for any good reason such as speeding, running a light, weaving in and out of traffic, or any other suspicious driving pattern, if the officer suspects the driver has been drinking the driver can be asked to submit to a breath test. This is the normal protocol on the side of law enforcement, but each driver reacts differently to this request. Whether you refused to take the breath test, or submitted to it will affect the type of defense you offer. We can help in either case because we have experience defending both instances.
- Your first court appearance after bonding out of jail will be the arraignment. This is the time to advise the Court if you will be entering a guilty or not guilty plea.
- Depending on how to plan to plea, after the plea is entered it is necessary to investigate your case further and make any motion with the Court to keep certain evidence out of the Courtroom. Once all of your pretrial motions have been decided on by the Court, you will be in a good position to begin negotiations with the prosecuting attorney.
- During the negotiation phase your attorney will argue for the most lenient outcome, whether that is probation or an outright dismissal of the charges depends on the evidence in your case.
- Sentencing is the last part of your case and this comes after an agreement is made through skilled negotiations with the prosecution, or after a trial to the Court. Most first time offenders can expect to be sentenced to a term of probation, and if successful on that probation the charges will be reduced.
It is also important to remember that there is an administrative part to your case as well, and you will have to act fast regarding this portion of the case or you might not be permitted to drive. The administrative portion of your case deals with the revocation of your license, and if not challenged within ten days from the date of arrest you will not be granted any driving privileges. But if you do seek a review within those first ten days, a first time offender is likely to be granted a provisional license so they can still go to school and work.
If you have questions about DUI defense, contact us for answers. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.