Life lessons come along for all of us, generally resulting from our poor judgment calls. We take the lesson and progress forward with a deep understanding but typically no major consequences.
Unfortunately, there are significant repercussions with some poor choices, like getting behind the wheel of an auto after having consumed alcohol.
Despite it being a first-time offense, there is the potential for severe charges. Fortunately, with the right DUI lawyer Chester County, you don’t have to face the ordeal on your own. The attorney will let you know what to expect from the start and as the case progresses.
Ideally, you will be cooperative and listen to the lawyer’s directives in preparation for the preliminary hearing. The attorney will work diligently to resolve the circumstances to the slightest degree possible.
If a plea deal is offered and accepted, there will be no need for a trial. This is usually presented at the arraignment. Let’s look at the different steps in the process to see what can be expected with a first-time DUI offense.
What Are The Steps Involved In A First-Time DUI Offense
It’s not anyone’s goal to go out, have a good time, and get arrested for driving under the influence. But when you’re impaired, poor judgment often leads to bad decisions. That’s when someone needs to take an individual’s keys before they make such a mistake, but sadly that doesn’t always happen. Learn how to avoid a DUI conviction at https://www.alcoholproblemsandsolutions.org/14-tips-avoid-dwi-dui-conviction/
The good thing is that the police pull the car over before anyone gets hurt. The bad thing is that a person is stuck facing severe repercussions for an error in judgment that could have been easily prevented with a simple call for a taxi or asking a friend for a ride home.
Upon arrest, it’s vital to ask immediately to speak with a DUI defense attorney who will begin to work on the case straight away. How it plays out will depend on your specific circumstances.
Generally, someone will post bail, and the defendant will receive a date to return for court roughly as long as six weeks following the arrest. Let’s look at each step in the process that will follow the initial arrest.
The arraignment is typically the offending party’s first court appearance following the arrest. The individual has likely been processed, and bail has been received for their release. The judge will record whether there is an attorney or if the public defender’s office will need to assign one.
The judge explains the actual charges, and there is an opportunity for a plea of not guilty or guilty to be entered. Individuals with an attorney will have a “waiver of appearance,” allowing the attorney to appear on their behalf.
Between the court and the lawyer, a new court date will be set in no greater than two months from the time of the arraignment.
With these “status” court hearings, the defendant will have an offer in exchange for the case not heading to trial. If the plea deal is accepted, the attorney can proceed with resolutions not needing to prepare for a formal trial.
If the offender chooses to plead “not guilty,” the attorney must prepare for a preliminary hearing. This is where evidence against the offender is presented, and the DUI defense attorney will be able to do their cross-examination. The judge will ultimately decide as to the probable cause. If there is, the case will “bind over” for Grand Jury consideration.
When you’re expected to appear in court, it’s vital that you not just be on time but, instead, be early for the hearings in case there is something unavoidable that could detain you.
Showing up late not only leaves a poor first impression with the court, whose time is valuable but can result in contempt charges along with the possibility of other penalties.
The suggestion also is to ensure that you dress professionally to contribute to a good impression from the court and show that the proceedings are taken seriously.
The Grand Jury consists of 13 average citizens who are put to the task of deciding whether there is sufficient probable cause to send a case for trial. In these sessions, the defendant is not present, and the DUI attorney is not given an opportunity to argue the evidence as the prosecution’s team presents it.
The prosecutor’s job is to prove adequate probable cause to take the case to the next level. If the jury deems it sufficient, there will be an indictment for the charges or formal charges. The defendant will then be scheduled for a second arraignment at a later date.
If the case progresses to the criminal court, the defendant will have another chance to accept a plea arrangement. If the defendant is adamant about their innocence, preferring to fight the charges, numerous “pretrial motions” will be made to show the offender the court’s evidence against them.
Each side will present their arguments and show their evidence during the trial, followed by jury deliberations. The jury’s duty is to decide if the prosecutor proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt. If so, the judge will dole out the sentencing for a guilty verdict. If found not guilty, the case will be dismissed.
A poor judgment calls on a night out in Chester County will not only lead to a powerful life lesson but will have substantial repercussions when the police arrest you for a DUI. Look here for guidance on what to do when pulled over for a DUI.
When you find yourself in this predicament, the priority is to contact a DUI defense attorney who can start working on the case straight away. From that point, it’s wise to follow the lawyer’s directives to receive a better outcome for your specific situation when all is said and done.
With the professional’s experience, knowledge and qualifications, they’ll know how to maneuver the process to benefit your greatest good.