Being charged with driving under the influence can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t know what to expect. Being shuffled through a complex legal process can be disorienting, causing you to make serious mistakes without an experienced DUI attorney in your corner. Below is a breakdown of the process, with some of the most important stages of a DUI case.
The Stages of a DUI Case
Detainment & Release
Once you’ve been arrested and charged, you’ll likely be released on your own recognizance or offered bail. Before being released, you’ll be given a date to appear at your first formal hearing.
For most defendants, the arraignment is the first and only time you’ll have to appear in court. If your DUI attorney recommends entering a guilty plea, the case will quickly move to the sentencing phase. Otherwise, you’ll enter a plea of “not guilty,” and move on to the preliminary hearing.
The Preliminary Hearing
Before the trial begins, you’ll have to attend a preliminary hearing, during which the judge will decide whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed. After hearing the evidence and the cross-examination by your own attorney, the judge will either dismiss the charges or send you to trial.
The Jury Trial
During the trial, the prosecution will set forth their evidence, including the results of your chemical test and the testimony of the arresting officer. Your DUI attorney will also have the opportunity to challenge any evidence that was improperly collected and question the observations of the officer. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury will issue their verdict.
The penalties for a DUI can be severe, with steep fines and potential jail sentences for repeat offenders. Your driver’s license will also be suspended, and you may be ordered to attend an addiction treatment program.
If you’ve been accused of driving under the influence, The Law Office of Lorri Kline in Columbia, MO, will fight to protect your rights through every step of the process. With their DUI attorneys, you’ll receive the resources of a large law firm, with the personalized attention you’d expect from a boutique legal office. To discuss your case and schedule a consultation, visit their website or call their offices at (573) 442-1646.