What Happens When You Get a DUI?
Have you or someone you know recently gotten a DUI? Each year in the United States, there is an average of 1.5 million arrests for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). While the laws governing DUI vary from state-to-state, being charged with this crime can have life-changing consequences.
If you or a loved one have been arrested for DUI, you may be wondering what will happen next and some of the potential consequences. Read on to learn more about what happens when you get a DUI.
Filing Criminal Charges
When you are arrested for a DUI, it's important to remember that you aren't formally charged with a crime right away. For a law enforcement officer to arrest you, he or she must have probable cause that you committed or were committing a crime.
Simply put, probable cause means that there is more than a suspicion that a crime has occurred. There should be facts and circumstances that make it more likely than not that you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Until the prosecutor in your jurisdiction files a formal document with the criminal court, you aren't formally charged with a crime. You've just been arrested under suspicion of DUI.
Driver's License Issues
There is a civil and criminal element to driving under the influence. The laws governing these processes depend on the jurisdiction where you are arrested for a DUI.
For example, in Florida, there is an administrative process where you will receive a suspension of your license pending a hearing on the DUI issue. You will bolster your DUI defense by hiring an attorney with experience in criminal law.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your DUI, you may be eligible to receive a hardship license for driving to work and/or school until your case concludes.
Navigating The Legal Process
After formal criminal charges are filed against you for DUI, you will have a court date set for arraignment. At an arraignment, you will be told the charges against you and must enter an initial plea.
Entering a Plea
You may choose to plead guilty or no contest and receive your sentence at the arraignment. Many criminal defendants enter an initial plea of not guilty and proceed to conduct formal discovery.
Discovery and Motions to Suppress
After you've completed the arraignment, your lawyer will learn facts about your case. Based on those facts, your lawyer may file a motion to suppress. This motion requests that a court exclude evidence from use against you in court. The most common reason for this motion is because law enforcement received it in an unlawful way.
Reaching a Resolution
Other times, an attorney may recommend you enter a plea. This often comes based on negotiations and the offer received from the prosecutor. The criminal penalty you face may only be for probation, community service, and a fine. Other penalties may include jail time and a driver's license suspension.
Speak to an attorney to learn about all of your options so that you can make the best decision about the case.
What Happens When You Get a DUI?
If you are wondering what happens when you get a DUI, the answer depends on a lot of different aspects. Things like your blood alcohol content (BAC) and the number of your offenses for DUI can have a big impact on how your case is handled.
Are you concerned about addiction and finding ways to overcome drug or alcohol dependence? Check out our blog section for great blog posts on addiction and how to get the help you need!