If you’ve been arrested for drinking and driving, don’t panic! A DUI can come with serious consequences, even if you’re a first time offender.
But all is not lost.
Understanding your rights, the charges brought against you, and the court process is the first step to mounting a solid legal defense. Then, you can make an educated decision on how to proceed.
Keep reading to learn what vital steps you need to take before, during, and after your DUI arraignment, to ensure a positive outcome.
Even if you were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, you are innocent until proven guilty. You should be respectful and cooperative with police officers, but keep your legal rights in mind.
Never say anything that admits guilt or could be used to incriminate you. Remember, you have the right to remain silent until you have an attorney present to advise you.
This legal right includes field sobriety tests and breathalyzers, too. You are not required to submit to these tests, even if the police insist that you are.
You should discuss the details of your arrest with your lawyer and decide what plea to enter before appearing in DUI court.
An arraignment is part of the DUI court process. At this initial hearing, you will enter your plea, determining the next steps in your case.
If you plead “guilty” or “no contest,” the next legal step will be sentencing. If you decide to plead “not guilty,” you’ll have the opportunity to appear in court and challenge the prosecution.
Discuss the best defense with your attorney before deciding on what plea to make.
At your arraignment, the prosecution will present a written report from the police officers who arrested you. This will include the results of field sobriety, breathalyzer, or blood tests.
If there were any passengers in your vehicle at the time of arrest, they might be able to provide testimony in your defense. And, if you have a serious medical condition, it may have affected your sobriety tests.
Be sure to discuss these details with your lawyer ahead of your DUI arraignment.
Appearing in Court
Your attorney will plan and prepare your legal defense, and educate you on how to fight a DUI. But, some parts of the process are in your hands.
You should appear in court well dressed and on time. Remember, this is your opportunity to make a positive impression on the judge reviewing your case.
This also applies to how you speak during your arraignment. Good manners are a must, and you should maintain a respectful tone at all times.
Your lawyer will help you with what to say in court for DUI defense. Be sure to take this advice seriously and follow their instructions!
You may be asked to provide evidence and supportive information, like the police report from the time of your arrest. If you’re coming to court with paperwork, be sure that it’s organized and complete before your arrival.
No matter what happens, do not miss your court date. Failure to appear can result in fines and further legal consequences.
What Comes Next
Armed with this information, you should feel ready to face your DUI arraignment head-on.
Don’t forget that the best way to prepare for a DUI hearing is to hire an expert attorney as quickly as possible. The right legal professional will guide you through the court process, and help you move forward from this experience.
And, if you are struggling with drugs or alcohol, consider attending a rehabilitation course like Alcoholics Anonymous. This extra step may shorten your sentence and help you get your life back on track.
Read through our other blog posts for more helpful tips on dealing with police, DUI defense, and navigating the court system.