The Boca Raton DUI case process consists of several stages that address different aspects of your case. From arrest to court proceedings to plea agreements, knowing what to expect in your case can make your situation less stressful. This knowledge can allow you to focus your efforts on building your defense to the DUI charges.
By enlisting the help of an experienced criminal Attorney at Leifert & Leifert, you can get answers to your questions and develop a clear defense strategy. You will need to address both the criminal charges against you and the administrative proceedings that could result in a license suspension. Together, you can resolve both your cases in the most positive manner possible based on your circumstances.
Initial Criminal DUI Proceedings
Following an arrest on DUI charges, some individuals must post a specific amount of bail to be released from Jail. Most will be released on their own recognizance after eight (8) hours in custody. If they do not have the funds to bond out, they can contact a bail bond agent for assistance or wait until they attend their first appearance hearing, which by law, must be held within 24 hours of the arrest. At that hearing, the court can adjust the amount of the bail, if warranted.
The first court hearing in the DUI case process (post arrest and release) in Boca Raton is called an Arraignment. Individuals will hear the charges against them and then can plead “not guilty” to deny those charges. The court then will schedule the next court date, which is generally referred to as a Pre-Trial conference. Court appearances for these Hearings may not be necessary if you have retained your own lawyer.
Criminal DUI Case Motions and Pre-Trial Conferences
The discovery process involves each side to the proceedings asking the other side for particular documents or information. The defense Attorney will request all the evidence that the state possesses to support the charges, including police reports, video evidence, lab test reports, and breath testing reports. The defense will also ask the state to identify all witnesses who may give testimony at Trial.
The defense can also file appropriate Pre-Trial motions, which depend on the circumstances surrounding the case. For example, the defense Attorney can ask the court to dismiss the charges for various reasons or that the court suppress or exclude evidence by the state. The defense also may file a motion in limine, which asks that the jury not hear specific evidence or testimony.
Deciding How to Resolve the Criminal DUI Case
Individuals charged with a DUI offense must eventually decide how to resolve their cases but, only after a thorough review and discussion with your Attorney. The state may offer a plea bargain or agreement, which is an agreed resolution of the case that outlines the charges and penalties. The defense may negotiate with the state to reach a more favorable agreement. If the individuals agree to accept the plea, they will have a sentencing hearing and proceed to serve their sentence.
If individuals are unable to reach an acceptable plea agreement, they may decide to proceed to Trial. During the Trial, the state presents the charges and evidence in support of those charges to a judge and jury. The defense then can present evidence. The jury will decide whether the individuals are guilty or not guilty of the DUI charges. If found not guilty, the individuals will be free to leave, and the case will be over. If found guilty, the individuals will receive a sentence decided by the presiding Judge and begin to serve the terms of that sentence.
Administrative License Suspension Proceedings
As the criminal Boca Raton case process for DUI progresses, individuals will also undergo administrative proceedings concerning their driving privileges. Individuals face an automatic suspension for refusing a breath test in a DUI arrest or if their breath test results are .08 percent or higher. They must request a formal administrative hearing within ten days of arrest to contest the license suspension.
If the hearing officer upholds the suspension, individuals cannot apply for a hardship license for 30 days. However, if individuals waive the hearing, they may qualify for a business purpose only license right away, which can allow them to continue driving back and forth to work.
Learn About the Case Process for DUI in Boca Raton
Getting the advice of legal counsel concerning both your criminal DUI case and administrative license suspension proceedings can be vital to a positive result. By understanding the Boca Raton DUI case process, you can make better-informed decisions about your case.
Enlisting the help of legal defense counsel is likely to benefit you in both proceedings. Together, you can work toward the defense strategy that is right for you.