If you are facing a drunk driving charge, you most likely are under a significant amount of stress. You may be wondering about the process you might expect as well as what penalties you might face if you are convicted.

DUI cases progress in a specific manner according to the state’s rules of criminal procedure. At the first stage, you will receive a summons and complaint. This is the ticket given to you by the police officer who charged you with driving under the influence. This ticket will give you the date that you must appear in court. If you hire an attorney, he or she may request a change in the date in order to first get discovery in your case.

Your first court date is called your arraignment. At this appearance, the judge will ask you how you plead to the charges listed in your summons and complaint. Your pretrial discovery is the time when you or your attorney will be able to look at all of the discovery in your case. This may include police reports, video recordings, witness statements and the results of any testing. You or your attorney may then file motions in order to challenge certain pieces of evidence held in the case against you. At your motions hearing, you can argue for suppression. Finally, if you choose to do so, you can proceed to trial on your case. If you are convicted at trial, your judge will then sentence you.

At our law firm, we regularly help our clients who are charged with driving under the influence. In some cases, we are able to obtain favorable pleas through our negotiations on their behalf in order to help them avoid incarceration sentences. In others, we proceed through trial. If you have questions, you may want to review our drunk driving defense page.