A DUI arrest is a serious and it can result in especially severe consequences if you have a history of similar convictions. However, if you have never been charged with this particular offense before, you may be unfamiliar with how these sorts of cases proceed. This can make it hard to effectively prepare for the various steps in that process.
For the most part, the Chandler DUI case process is the same as the process for any other criminal offense, but there are some unique aspects that it might be helpful for you to know about in advance. Whether you know what to expect or not, retaining a skilled DUI attorney should be your first priority after being arrested for drunk driving.
Immediately after someone has been arrested for DUI, they will typically be taken to jail by the police officer who detained them. This is where they will stay until a law enforcement testing lab finishes checking their blood, urine, or breath sample for alcohol or illicit drugs.
Many people who are arrested for drunk driving in Arizona are released on their own recognizance after their test results come in. However, if an arrested individual has a history of DUI, or if there is some aggravating factor like an accident that resulted in an injury or an extremely high blood alcohol concentration (BAC), they may be booked into jail.
In Chandler, the first court appearance in a DUI case process is an arraignment hearing, which will include a formal reading of the charge against the arrested individual and, if they were booked and detained, a decision about how much they would have to pay in bail for pre-trial release. If a defendant is allowed pre-trial release, their driver’s license will almost always be suspended for the duration of their case, unless they specifically request a license suspension civil hearing within 14 days of their arrest.
Prior to the scheduled court date for a Chandler DUI charge, a defense attorney may arrange one or several pre-trial conference(s) with the prosecutor and attempt to negotiate a plea deal without the defendant being present. If the defendant accepts the plea deal offered to them, the case will proceed straight to sentencing and end quickly. If they plead not guilty or refuse the deal, they will have to go to jury trial.
Once jury selection occurs, ideally with input from a seasoned local lawyer working on a defendant’s behalf. Both the state prosecutor and any legal counsel the defendant has retained will present their respective arguments for why the defendant is guilty or innocent of the charge they face.
Finally, if the trial concludes with a guilty verdict from the jury, the judge overseeing the case will pass down the sentence the convicted defendant will have to serve. Depending on the circumstances, this could include a prolonged or permanent license suspension, fines, mandated installation of an ignition interlock device in the defendant’s vehicle, and/or jail time.
Even if you are confident you know how your court case for a DUI charge will go, you should still retain professional representation as soon as possible after your arrest. With experienced legal counsel by your side, you could be better prepared to handle both standard procedures and unexpected obstacles that may appear in your case.
To reach a better understanding of the Chandler DUI case process, you may wish to speak with a trustworthy attorney at our firm. Call today to learn how we could help you.