What Are the Different Stages of a DUI Case?
Getting pulled over by a police officer and subsequently arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) is a nightmare. There is a process you can expect as the case proceeds. These are the typical stages of a DUI case.
The first stage of a DUI case is the arrest itself. A police officer must have reasonable suspicion to make you pull over your vehicle. They must also have probable cause to believe that you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs and impaired before asking you to submit to a breath test to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. If your BAC is over the legal limit of 0.08%, the officer will then make the arrest. In some cases, they can also make you take field sobriety tests. You can ask for a DUI defense attorney from the Law Office of Patrick R. McKamey.
After your arrest, the officer will take you to the police station for the booking process. This results in fingerprinting and taking your mugshot. At this point, you will want to know how to get in touch with DUI defense lawyers to protect your interests and prepare your case. Preliminary bail will be set, and if you are able to pay it, you are released from custody and given notice of where and when to appear in court.
The arraignment occurs a short time after your arrest and booking. You are advised of your rights and the charges against you. You can request your DUI defense attorney, but in cases where you don’t have one, the judge will inform you that you can have one ordered by the court to represent you. Because you are charged with DUI, your driver’s license will be suspended.
Defense lawyers in West Palm Beach can help build a strong defense for your case. It’s always best to have an attorney representing you during the arraignment. You have the right to enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, the judge will issue a sentence. If you plead not guilty, the case will go to trial at a future date.
Any time a DUI case goes to trial, it’s imperative for defendants to be represented by DUI defense lawyers. It’s the best chance to have the case go in your favor. Your attorney will present your defense in front of a jury that ultimately decides whether you are guilty or not guilty. If the jury decides that you are guilty, sentencing will be ordered.
Sentencing and Appeals
At sentencing, the judge announces your sentence and penalties. Typically, you will be given jail time, ordered to pay fines and court fees and ordered to attend a mandatory DUI course. Your license will continue to be suspended as well. You have the right to appeal if you disagree with the results of your case. Your DUI defense attorney can prepare that appeal.
If you were arrested for a DUI and need representation by skilled defense lawyers in West Palm Beach, contact the Law Office of Patrick R. McKamey to discuss your case.