The DUI Process
If you are arrested for DUI in Wayne County, you will face a criminal process that is made up of several steps, including:
- Release from custody - If you are found with a blood alcohol content (BAC) that is over the legal limit, you will be held in custody for a minimum of eight hours after your DUI arrest. You can either be released on your own recognizance if you promise to appear in court at a later time, or post bond (if the court deems it necessary). You will likely be given a phone call where you have the chance to secure an attorney or get in touch with a family member who can do so for you.
- Arraignment - Following your release, you will appear in court for an arraignment. Here, the judge will formally state your charges, and you will be asked to enter a plea. If you plead not guilty, a date for a pre-trial conference will be scheduled. If you plead guilty, the judge will decide on a sentence.
- Preliminary Examination – This is only for those that are faced with a felony, such as by having too many convictions or causing a death. The preliminary examination is a right that a person charged for a felony has, within 14 days from the arraignment. During this time a witness will testify and can be cross examined by the defensive team. Probable cause will need to be given that the crime was committed by the suspect.
- Pretrial hearing - At this preliminary hearing, the judge will have an opportunity to be updated on the progress of your case. A prosecutor may offer a plea agreement at this stage, which, if accepted, will require that you formally enter your plea in front of the judge.
- Pretrial motions - Any motions that your legal representation wishes to make will be filed at this court hearing, such as a request to suppress certain evidence in your case. Law enforcement officers and other witnesses may be cross-examined by your attorney at this hearing.
- Trial - The majority of DUI cases are resolved prior to trial. If yours proceeds to trial, your case will be heard by six jury members. The prosecution and defense will present their cases, and witnesses for both sides will be cross-examined. You may testify as a witness if you and your attorney deem it appropriate for your case. Once each side has presented their closing arguments, the jury will deliberate, and reach a verdict.
This can be a very tense time and it is important to know what your rights are. Many times, law enforcement will overstep their boundaries and this can be detrimental to the current and future status of your case. It is often the best decision for you to exercise your right to remain silent and refrain from speaking with police until your lawyer is present. A conviction can come with serious consequences and the process of fighting a charge for driving under the influence should be dealt with by an experienced professional. For those that are charged, it can be challenging enough to face the situation itself, let alone have to determine which is the best way to challenge charges. There are often many intricate details involved in court proceedings and failing to meet these can put you in an even worse position.
The trial process will typically not run long, but the ramifications of it can remain. In felony cases, the length of time can often extend further, and legal penalties can remain for years after the fact. It is very important that you retain the help of a Detroit DUI lawyer for your case, as an attorney will enhance the likelihood of an outcome that is in your favor. At Boulahanis & Associates, we take a very aggressive approach fighting DUI charges. We possess over 25 years of trial experience, and have developed a reputation for winning cases. Our attorney team will consider all legal defenses against your charges in order to settle on a strategy that is best suited to the specifics of your case.