Now that you have been charged for driving under the influence, what happens next? After you have been charged with a DUI, you should be given an opportunity to speak with an attorney regarding your case and your rights. It is highly recommended that you do so. Contact The Maher Law Firm at 614-205-2208 to begin working with a Columbus DUI lawyer who can make sure that your rights and freedoms are protected. We will help you understand the DUI process and what to expect at each of the following stages.
After you have been contacted by an officer regarding suspicion of DUI, the officer may make the decision to arrest you, write you a ticket and release you, or simply release you. If you were arrested or you were issued a ticket, it is likely that your next appearance in court will be your arraignment. You should talk to an attorney prior to this arraignment date to make sure you don’t miss any procedural deadlines.
This will likely be your first appearance in front of a judge or magistrate. This stage is generally the defense’s first chance to address several issues in a DUI case. In addition to other matters, your attorney may speak to your bond if not already set, address your license suspension if you have one, collect any available evidence, and further develop a defense strategy.
Pretrials are designed to assist in contesting your charge. They provide an opportunity for the prosecution and the defense to communicate and negotiate regarding your case. The strengths and weaknesses of each side may be discussed in an effort to reach an agreeable resolution. Motions hearings are also an opportunity to discover the strengths and weaknesses of a case.
Motions hearings are an excellent way to discover how weak or strong a case actually is. An experienced attorney can use these hearings as a way to exclude certain evidence and find answers to questions through live testimony. It is often the Court’s first chance to hear any of the evidence giving both sides a glimpse into how things may unravel in a trial.
Your case may be tried by a judge or a jury depending on what you have been charged with and the possible penalties involved. Evidence that has not been suppressed through motions of either the prosecution or the defense will be presented to the judge and/or jury. Questions of law are to be decided by the judge and questions of fact are to be decided by the jury if you have one. After all of the evidence has been submitted, the judge or jury will decide if guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. One is presumed innocent, but if a guilty verdict is returned, you will be subjected to sentencing.
If you have entered a plea or have been found guilty, you will be sentenced. Your sentence will vary depending on the associated charges and facts of the case. Your prior record will also play a role in your sentencing. Among other things, fines, costs, community service, restitution, probation, mandatory programs, mandatory classes, counseling, and jail or prison are all possibilities.
After you have been sentenced, you will need to serve your sentence. Failure to comply with any condition of your sentence may result in further and often harsher penalties.
If you were recently arrested and have questions or concerns regarding your situation and your rights, do not hesitate to contact us. How your case is handled is important. At The Maher Law Firm, you will work directly with attorney Colin Maher. He will be available to answer all of your questions throughout your case.