What happens after I get a DUI?
You may request a hearing 7 days after your license has been taken from you. If you request a hearing, you’ll be given a temporary license until the date of the hearing. If you lose at this hearing, you cannot drive. The next hearing will be your arraignment, which is the date on your ticket around 30 to 60 days after your arrest. After your arraignment will be the pre-trial conference where your case will be discussed with the District Attorney. You may either take the plea deal or decide you would like a trial. If you take a plea deal, the court will impose your sentence. If you do not take a plea deal, there may be a suppression hearing if any of your constitutional rights have been violated. If you request a trial, your sentencing will occur upon completion of the trial.
If I post bail will I get the bail money returned?
The purpose of bail is to assure that a defendant will return to court after being released from custody. A defendant can either post bail in the full amount if they have the means to afford it, or through a bail bondsman. If a defendant uses a bail bondsman, there will be a fee associated with this that will not be returned to the defendant. A defendant will receive the bail money as long as the defendant shows up at the necessary court dates.
What if I’m not sure if there is a warrant out for my arrest?
To find out if there is a warrant for your arrest, calling a professional bondsman is a good idea.
If I’ve been arrested, do I have a right to an attorney?
Yes, you have a right to an attorney if you have been arrested.
If the police want to talk to me after I’ve been arrested do I have to answer their questions?
You have the right to remain silent if you have been arrested. Anything you say at this point can be used against you in court. Recent Supreme Court decision require you to verbally invoke your right to remain silent.
What is a deferred judgment?
When a defendant is given a deferred judgment it means that the defendant agreed to enter a conditional guilty plea. If the defendant complies with the conditions of this agreement, then at the end of the period of the deferment, the case is dismissed and is eligible to be expunged or sealed.
Should I hire a lawyer if I have been charged with a crime?
You will most likely have a better chance of reducing your punishment or having your charges dropped by hiring a lawyer that is familiar with criminal law. This will also ensure that your constitutional rights are being protected.