Drunk driving is something that you should avoid for many reasons. It is not only unsafe to drive under the influence, but you could also be arrested. It is important that you understand what the process of the drunk driving arrest in case you are ever faced with this. For instance, hiring a drunk driving lawyer in Milwaukee to help on your DUI offense is highly recommended.
The Traffic Stop
The first stage of the drunk driving arrest is the traffic stop. At this point, you will be stopped by the police because your driving has been classed as erratic or dangerous. The police will collect evidence of a DUI such as taking a breath test. It is possible to decline to answer any questions at this point until you have an attorney present.
If the police believe that there is probable cause, it is possible that you will be arrested at the time of the traffic stop. While you do not have to answer any questions, it is recommended that you comply with the police and cooperate. If you resist arrest, there are additional charges that could be brought against you. Most attorneys will recommend that you undergo the chemical DUI testing. Once you have been arrested, you will be taken to the local police station.
Once you reach the police station, you will be booked. This is the process of recording the arrest for legal purposes. During the booking process, you will be fingerprinted, photographed, searched and asked a range of questions. It is important to remember that you can decline to answer any questions without a lawyer present. In many cases, you will be released from the police station after booking. However, it is possible that you will be kept overnight depending on the arrest situation.
The Preliminary Hearing
Not all drunk driving arrests will have a preliminary hearing, and it is possible that yours will not. The preliminary hearing will be held so a judge can determine whether or not there is enough evidence or probable cause to hold up the charges you are facing. If the judge rules that there is enough evidence then a trial will be scheduled. You should have an attorney represent you at the preliminary hearing.
Not all DUI charges will make it to a jury trial, and most will only face the judge. However, the laws of your state and the nature of the DUI charges against you will dictate whether a jury trial will be conducted. At trial, your lawyer and the prosecution will present information about the case to the judge and jury, if applicable. It is very important that you hire an experienced attorney to represent you if you have to go to a jury trial.
After the trial, or if you have plead guilty to the charge, the judge will determine the verdict and the punishment for the offense. In most cases, sentencing will be carried out immediately after the verdict has been given. The sentencing can range from a fine to jail time depending on the severity of the charges.