December 26, 2022 | DUI
Facing a DUI charge can be one of the most frightening experiences of your life. The consequences of a DUI conviction can include fines, incarceration, suspension of your driver’s license, and other long-term impacts to your life.
This is why it is so important to contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible if you have been charged with drunk driving. Understanding the process of a DUI charge can help lessen your anxiety and ensure that you get the help you need.
Your First Court Appearance
Your first court appearance, known as the arraignment, will typically take place within five business days of your arrest. At this hearing, the prosecutor will read aloud the charges against you. It’s unlikely that a plea bargain will be discussed at this time.
During this hearing, you will plead guilty or not guilty.
It is important to be aware of this court date and discuss your legal options with your lawyer before appearing in court.
Pleading Not Guilty and Appealing Administrative License Suspension
If you plead not guilty, then you should also appeal any Administrative License Suspension (ALS) associated with your charges. This can be done orally at your arraignment, or it can be done in writing within 30 days of your arraignment hearing.
Upon appealing an ALS suspension, a hearing will be held where both sides will present evidence regarding the arrest and/or test results that led up to the suspension of your license. Afterward, both sides will have time to cross-examine witnesses or call upon their own witnesses if necessary. The judge will then make a decision about whether or not to uphold the suspension.
After Arraignment – Pre-Trial Hearing
The next step is usually a pre-trial hearing. Before this hearing, your attorney should’ve had an opportunity to review the evidence that the prosecutor has against you. At the pre-trial hearing, your lawyer will likely speak with the prosecutor to discuss plea deals—or any other type of resolution that could work in your case.
If you accept an offer from the prosecutor, there will be a hearing at a later date where your plea deal will be formalized. If no deal can be reached, then your case moves forward as normal and goes to trial.
If your case is not resolved at the pre-trial hearing phase, it will proceed to trial, but there may be a motions hearing first. Your defense attorney may file motions that can drastically affect the outcome of your case.
A common motion in a DUI case is a motion to suppress. At this time, your attorney will present evidence and arguments as to why certain pieces of evidence should not be admitted. For example, they might argue that an officer lacked probable cause when they arrested you and any evidence obtained after that arrest should not be heard by the jury.
Or if the officer did not administer field sobriety tests correctly, your defense lawyer might argue that the officer should not be permitted to testify about your performance on those tests. In either scenario, there could be significant consequences for your case if these motions are successful.
Your lawyer and the prosecutor may engage in ongoing negotiations throughout this process. If it is still not resolved after a motions hearing, your case will proceed to trial.
At trial, both sides present their evidence and arguments to the court. This includes presenting witness testimony, introducing evidence, making legal arguments, and more. The judge or jury then uses this information to determine whether the defendant is guilty of the crime they are charged with. If you are found guilty at the end of a trial, a hearing will be scheduled so you can be sentenced.
You Always Have The Right to a Lawyer
It’s important to understand that you always have the right to an attorney if you’ve been arrested and charged with a DUI. An attorney can provide legal advice and advocacy on your behalf as well as help prepare a defense strategy for your case.
Having an attorney helps ensure that all your rights are protected and upheld throughout the proceedings which can include investigation, trial, sentencing, and appeals. An experienced lawyer is invaluable in defending yourself against charges.
If you need help with a DUI charge, contact Suhre & Associates today to schedule a free consultation.
Contact the Dayton DUI Attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Dayton
130 West Second Street #17-129
Dayton, OH 45402