Being arrested for DUI is not synonymous with being charged. If you were recently released from jail after being arrested for DUI your legal troubles may not be over. Shortly after your release, you will probably receive a DUI charge notice. Not sure what to expect? The following briefly goes over the process of a DUI charge.
Who Files the Charges?
The District Attorney is the government official who will file charges against you in your DUI case. Depending on the state and the jurisdiction you were arrested in, it could be some time before you receive your notice of charges.
If you want to know the exact charges against you, as well as when your pending case might go to court, you should contact the court clerk to find out. Keep in mind that if you do this, it is possible you’ll bring up something that was lost. For example, if the District Attorney has a lot on his or her plate and somehow loses your case, you may not have a charge filed against you at all. If you call to find out when your case is, it would bring it back to the attention of the DA and you’ll almost certainly be charged.
How Long Does It Take?
There is a statute of limitations in every state regarding how long the DA has to file charges. If your charge is a misdemeanor, the typical statute of limitations is one year, though it can vary based on your case and the state you’re being charged in. Felonies often have a longer amount of time than misdemeanors.
Do You Have to Go to Court?
In most cases, you will go before a judge whether this is your first or twenty-first time being charged with DUI. The judge will verify your identity, read the charges, ask if you have an attorney, ask for your plea, and go over your bail conditions.
Beyond this initial appearance in court, you may not have to go back to court. If you plead guilty, you could be given your sentence at the initial appearance. If you plead not guilty, you and your lawyer can work through the process of coming up with a case for your innocence. Your lawyer will present your case before the court at a later time.
Getting Proper Representation
If this is your first time being arrested for DUI, you may be concerned about the process of being charged. Rest assured your lawyer can walk you through every step of the process so you’re never alone. Contact a DUI lawyer, like a drunk driving lawyer in Bangor, ME, today for proper representation.
Thanks to David Bate Law Office for their insight into the process of getting a DUI charge.