Most drivers understand the gravity of a DUI charge, but many are in the dark about what happens next. This overall confusion may cause some defendants to surrender their rights or make minor mistakes that severely impact the outcome of their case. According to the Law Office of Philip Shanahan—one of Anchorage's most established criminal defense attorneys—knowing what to expect after your DUI arrest can make the process a little less intimidating.
Once the arresting officer brings you back to the station, you'll be starting the DUI Processing phase. At this point, you are not obligated to answer any questions outside of identification information. Before taking any further steps or divulging anything relevant to the charge, consult with a DUI attorney to ensure you're being treated fairly and to understand your rights and options.
Bail conditions will be determined on the night of your arrest. Depending upon the circumstances of your arrest and your criminal history, the police officer may release you according to a bail schedule established by the Alaska courts. Otherwise, a magistrate may be contacted and your bail conditions will be set by them. You may or may not need to pay monetary bail. Again, consulting with a DUI attorney at that stage is wise if you are not sure of your situation.
Although contacting a DUI attorney prior to arraignment is in your best interest, you might find yourself in court for arraignment without an attorney. If you do, at that first court appearance, the judge will read the charges against you and ask you to enter a plea. The available please are “not guilty,” “guilty,” or you may decide to enter a “nolo contendere” (“no contest”) plea in which you don't contest the charges. A variety of defenses are available to those accused of a DUI, so don't enter a plea without speaking to a seasoned attorney beforehand. It is never a good idea to enter a guilty or no contest plea at arraignment for a DUI. Requesting a court-appointed attorney is an option at that hearing and should be utilized if you are not in a position to hire counsel.
With more than 20 years of experience, the Law Office of Philip Shanahan is known for providing aggressive representation and individualized attention to clients facing a broad range of criminal charges. If you've been accused of a DUI, visit the website or call (907) 334-3339 today.