This is a guest blog post from our friend Mike Driver who is a DUI attorney in TX. If you are charged with DUI in NY or NJ make sure to contact us at 888-883-5529.
Even if you consume just one alcoholic drink, your judgment can become impaired and you risk getting into an accident and/or arrested. Driving under the influence, also known as driving while intoxicated, is a very serious offense, and the punishment can be severe. As such, it is best to have a lawyer help you through the legal process.
What is an Arraignment?
An arraignment is your first court hearing. During your arraignment, the judge will tell you what you are being charged with, ask how you would like to plea and set a date for your trial. The judge will also decide whether or not to release you on your own recognizance or set a bail. If you do not have a private lawyer, you will be given the option of a court-appointed attorney.
The Preliminary Hearing
The purpose of a preliminary hearing is for the judge to decide whether or not the prosecutor has enough evidence to convict you of a DUI. This is also the time for your DWI attorney to build your case and explore your options with you. Some of these options include pleading guilty for a less severe sentence or trying to get your DUI reduced to a lesser charge such as reckless driving.
What is Meant by Pretrial Motions?
Before your trial, your lawyer will bring motions to keep various damaging evidence out of the trial. These are called pretrial motions, and examples of this type of evidence can include such things as alcohol containers found in your car, incriminating statements you made before the trial, and blood-alcohol test results.
How Does a Trial Proceed?
If you have to go to trial, the first thing that will happen is that a jury will be selected. At the beginning of the trial, your attorney and the prosecutor will give opening statements, which will describe the evidence that each one plans on presenting. Witnesses and police officers will be questioned by both your attorney and the prosecutor.
After the prosecution has finished presenting his or her case, your attorney may ask the judge to dismiss your case if there seems to be a lack of evidence. There will also be closing arguments from both sides summing up the evidence and explaining to the jury how the law applies to your unique case.
There are many ways that the judge may choose to sentence you, and it all depends on the circumstances of your case. However, some common punishments include driver’s license suspension, fines, jail time, probation, community service, alcohol counseling and/or rehab.
Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense and can often carry steep consequences. As such, it is best for you to obtain the help of an experienced attorney if you find yourself in this position. A professional lawyer can help you understand the complicated legal process and settle your case in the best way possible.
Mike Driver knows the consequences of being convicted of a serious crime. He and his business partner Matt Sharp are criminal defense attorneys in Houston, TX. They promise to administer the best possible defense for all of their clients. Read more at www.sharpanddriverlaw.com