Arrested For DUI? A Step-by-step Guide
Wondering what happens after being arrested for drunk driving? Driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal offense that involves two separate legal processes: the court trial and the DMV hearing. It is important to be aware of the many parts of your proceedings, and if you are currently dealing with drunk driving charges, do not hesitate to call our firm for the aggressive advocacy and smart representation your case needs and deserves.
- Booking and Custody: After your arrest, the officer will confiscate your license and take you to the station. You may be asked to submit to another chemical test to determine your BAC, and you will be fingerprinted and a booking photograph will be taken. You will likely be taken into custody at the local jail, and you could be released on your own recognizance or you may have to post bail.
- Schedule a Hearing: One of the first things you should do after you are released from custody is scheduled for your DMV hearing. You only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to make your appointment, which is your only opportunity to challenge the suspension of your license.
- Retain an Attorney: The laws and proceedings for a drunk driving arrest can be complex, but the assistance of an experienced attorney will provide your case with the best chance to achieve a successful verdict. Your lawyer can thoroughly examine your charges and the circumstances that led to your arrest to determine if your rights were violated in any way and build a powerful defense against the prosecution’s charges.
- DMV Hearing: At your hearing, you have the opportunity to present evidence of your own and subpoena witnesses, including the arresting officer. Your attorney can advocate for your license and driving privileges on your behalf, and the DMV will then rule on whether or not the officer had reasonable cause to take your license.
- Arraignment: Your arraignment is the first court hearing when you are formally charged with driving while intoxicated. It is at this hearing that you will enter your plea of guilty, no contest, or not guilty when you decide whether you will accept the charges or fight the allegations brought against you. By pleading no contest or guilty, your sentence will be immediately imposed by the judge. If you plead not guilty, the judge will set a future court date when your case will be tried by a jury and judge.
- Plea Bargains and Pretrial Motions: After the arraignment, your attorney can discuss the case with the District Attorney and possibly negotiate a plea bargain that is beneficial for you. If a plea bargain is not reached, your lawyer can file motions to suppress evidence. At the suppression hearing, you can fight to have certain parts or all of the prosecution’s evidence thrown out if your rights were violated.
- Trial: Your case will be tried by a judge and jury, and the prosecution and your lawyer will present evidence, their arguments, and cross-examine any witnesses. The jury will then decide whether or not you are guilty of driving under the influence.
- Sentencing: The court will impose your sentence after reaching a plea bargain or after you are convicted. The penalties will differ based on the circumstances of your case but could include fines, jail time, community service, and alcohol education.
Do You Need A Strong Defender?
If you were arrested for a DUI, your case will benefit tremendously from the representation of a skilled and proven defense attorney. At Okabe & Haushalter, we are dedicated to providing the people of Los Angeles with the relentless advocacy needed to fight drunk driving charges, and we would be proud to protect your rights and interests. Call our team today or take advantage of our free case evaluation!