With Halloween right around the corner it won’t be unusual to see kids and young adults dressed up in costume, enjoying the holiday. Some of the costumes are cute, while others are scary, and some are theme based. A popular theme is the supernatural, with people dressing up as characters from science fiction books and movies, or other fantasy characters. Ghosts, skeletons, super heroes, and fortune tellers are good choices but we all know that those things don’t exist in real life; no matter how much we sometimes wish they were real. Just think, how different would your life be if you had a personal super hero to handle all your problems, or knew what the future held? This might not be too far out of the realm of possibility, in certain circumstances.

One such circumstance is something that might go hand in hand with holiday festivities; a DUI. Getting pulled over for DUI is a frightening experience, but with a skilled defense attorney by your side as your “super hero” you will know what to expect during your case. While not a crystal ball from a fortune teller, there are somethings you can learn in advance, as a sort of seven step guide to Florida DUI cases:

  • The first step in any criminal case is the arrest, and that is true in DUI cases as well. You might think being pulled over is the first step, but not all traffic stops result in DUI charges. It is only when you are arrested for DUI that your case actually begins.
  • After you have been arrested you will be taken to jail, where you will need to make arrangements to bond out. You can do this by calling a bail bondsman directly or relying on a friend or family member to set this wheel in motion.
  • Once you are out of jail you can expect to go to at least one court hearing, the first one is called your arraignment. This is the time where the Judge will formally read the charges to you.
  • Most people haven’t had a chance to investigate their case yet, so are not yet ready to enter a plea until that happens. After arraignment you will have time to put your attorney to work reviewing the facts of your case and negotiating with the prosecution for a favorable agreement. If you come to an agreement, you can enter a plea and proceed pursuant to the terms reached.
  • If you are not able to reach an agreement with the State, you can ask that your case be set for trial. You then attend the trial and argue your position before the Court. This is the time for witnesses and to have your attorney introduce any pieces of evidence that support your case.
  • Sentencing or probation comes next, depending on whether you went to trial or had success in your negotiations with the prosecuting attorney.
  • The last step, which does not really come last in the process, is the procedure to maintain your right to drive. This is separate from the criminal part of your case, but just as important because if not handled timely you could lose your license. Be sure to have an attorney make a request for an administrative review of your loss of license right away! You only have ten days from the date of arrest to do this, and if you miss this deadline you will be left without a driver’s license.

If all of this sounds scarier than the worst Halloween horror movie, don’t worry. We have experience helping people with DUI’s and can help you too.

If you have questions about DUI defense, call our office for answers. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.