The DUI Process
Let a Long Beach DUI Lawyer Clarify Your Options
A driving under the influence (DUI) case feels scary and overwhelming to most people who have been charged. As a client-focused firm, the Law Office of Peacock & Le Beau wants to help demystify the DUI process and make it easier for clients and potential clients to understand the road ahead.
The Stages of DUI Cases
From the moment you are arrested for drunk driving to the moment the case closes, your license, your reputation, and certain freedoms are on the line. Though many people associate a trial or arraignment with criminal penalties, the fact of the matter is that your license is at stake from the moment of your arrest to the DMV hearing and beyond. Understanding the DUI arrest process is vital to protecting yourself during every stage of your case.
If police officers believe they can reasonably deduce that you have been driving while intoxicated or over the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit, they may arrest you on suspicion of DUI. This is known as “probable cause,” and while it gives officers the authority to make an arrest, it does not guarantee that the charge will stand up in court.
After a DUI arrest, officers will take you into custody. They photograph you, search you, take your fingerprints, and question you. For the duration of this time, you may be placed in a holding cell. Any information the police gather during your booking may be filed in a report and used as evidence against you. To protect yourself, it is best to not answer any questions without an attorney present.
In many situations, bail may be posted to pay for your release from police custody. You or someone you know may post bail for your release. Paying bail allows you to be discharged from jail, under the provision that you will appear in court when summoned. Bail bond agencies are able to post bail for individuals who cannot pay on their own and need to borrow money.
This is when you first appear in court. During the arraignment procedure, the judge explains the charges against you and asks for your plea: guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Your criminal defense attorney may be present at this hearing, or may even stand in your place at the hearing.
In some cases, pleading guilty or no contest may work to a person’s benefit if the plea is bargained in exchange for decreased penalties or alternative DUI sentencing. If you agree to a plea bargain, your lawyer meets with the prosecution to find a resolution that works to your benefit, rather than risking the full consequences in a lengthy court battle.
Sentencing or Trial
If your case involves a misdemeanor offense and you plead guilty or no contest, you move directly to the sentencing stage. You will be assigned probation, enrolled in a substance treatment program, issued a monetary fine, and/or receive other penalties of a DUI conviction.
If your case involves a felony offense, or you plead not guilty, your case moves to the trial phase. This involves a jury selection, opening statements, the prosecution’s case, your defense’s case, closing arguments, jury deliberation, and the reading of your verdict.
Don't Hesitate to Seek Help
If you or someone you love has been charged with DUI, don't let uncertainty or embarrassment hold you back. You will need time on your side and, more importantly, you will need an experienced attorney. At the Law Office of Peacock & Le Beau, we have secured more than 1,000 successful case results over the course of 20+ years in practice together. We believe we have what it takes to help you secure the positive outcome you need
Contact us today to take advantage of our free case evaluation and explore your options.
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