Understanding What's Next With A Loved One's DUI Arrest

Law Blog

Receiving a phone call from jail is always distressing. Just knowing that a loved one has been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can bring about fear and confusion about what needs to be done. Take a deep breath and know that there are processes in place to deal with issues like this. Read on for a take on what is about to happen to your loved one after a DUI arrest.

The Arraignment – This meeting usually takes place soon after an arrest and serves several purposes. Here, your loved one is informed of the charges, asked about legal representation, asked to enter a plea, and informed about bail. If bail is offered, and it usually is, you can find out about it by phoning the jail where your loved one is being held. You can either pay the full bail amount or speak to a bail bonding agency about paying a reduced fee for their services and they will bond your loved one out of jail.

Arranging for Legal Representation – Next of importance is arranging for legal help with the case. The way your loved one is supported and represented in all legal matters going forward will depend on the quality of their criminal defense lawyer. Find a local lawyer who is well-versed in DUI matters. Their expertise and advice will be invaluable when dealing with everything from exorbitant bail costs to plea bargain offers to representation in court.

The Plea Bargain – It is accurate to say that almost all cases in criminal court are resolved using a plea bargain. This way of dealing with a case can be beneficial for your loved one as long as the charges and the sentencing are in line with a fair deal. Knowing what is fair means knowing what the state has against your loved one in terms of evidence. For example, if your loved one "blew" well over .08% on the breathalyzer, the state has fairly strong evidence of intoxication. Borderline blood alcohol results, inconclusive field sobriety tests, questionable cause for making the stop, and many other issues must be examined and evaluated before your loved one makes a plea bargain decision.

The Sentencing and Punishment – Whether your loved one makes a plea deal or the case goes to court, your life is likely to be impacted by a DUI conviction. Punishments can range from a loss of a driver's license and probation to jail time. Many systems try to keep those convicted out of jail by ordering classes, rehabilitation, counseling, probation, and other diversionary methods. Working with a criminal defense attorney every step of the way will positively influence the outcome of your loved one's DUI, so learn more by speaking to an attorney right away.


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