Arrested For DUI? Here’s What Happens Next.
If you have arrived at this webpage after being stopped by police on suspicion of drunk driving — and especially if you already have been arrested — you now face critical legal challenges. Meet those challenges fully armed and aware by becoming informed about what to expect.
Events beginning from the time of the traffic stop until the conclusion of your case may have both administrative and criminal consequences. You may lose your driving privileges, you may be required to pay fines, you may be jailed and you may end up with a criminal record. Your case may go through one or more of the steps described below. The sooner a defense attorney is on board, the greater your options and opportunities for a favorable outcome will be.
At the time of the roadside stop: Police may have stopped you because they believed you were speeding, changing lanes illegally or otherwise driving unsafely and possibly unlawfully. Or they may have scrutinized you after a collision you were involved in — whether or not you were at fault — to determine if you might have been driving under the influence of alcohol.
To protect your rights, keep track of the exact sequence of events to the best of your ability. You may ask a passenger in your car to keep notes. If no passenger is with you, write down what happened as soon as possible, before you begin to forget details.
During the traffic stop and immediately afterward: A police officer may ask you to perform field sobriety tests such as walking in a straight line or reciting the alphabet backward. He or she may ask you to take a breath test. He or she may take you to a police station and ask you to take a urine test or give a blood sample.
If you refuse to submit to a blood, breath or urine test, you will likely receive a letter soon thereafter saying your driver’s license will be suspended. You will be given a certain date by which to file an appeal or turn in your driver’s license.
When you are arrested: You may be arrested by the side of the road or you may receive a notice in the mail afterward indicating that you have been charged or will be charged.
At a preliminary hearing: A magistrate will determine if there is enough evidence against you to forward criminal charges against you to a county court.
For best results during and after these first steps in a DUI case, get a defense lawyer on your side as soon as possible. An attorney can evaluate the facts, protect your rights at each stage of the process and represent you vigorously before PennDOT officials and before a magistrate and other decision-makers in your case.
What a lawyer cannot do is turn back the clock. This is why it is essential to get legal counsel as early in the process as you can. An attorney on your side can help you file a petition to put your case on hold while you file an appeal. This may enable you to keep your driving privileges longer.
Get Information — Get Help — Get Started With Your DUI Defense
The above description of some early steps in your DUI case in Pennsylvania is only the beginning — a small part of the big picture. Not all details mentioned here may pertain to your circumstances.
A review of what happened may reveal that the police did not have a justifiable reason to stop you in the first place. If your attorney determines this was probably the case, you may stand a chance of getting your case dismissed. In collaboration with you, your defense lawyer can design an effective strategy tailored to your situation.
Get the conversation going about what to expect after a DUI arrest and how to maximize your chances of a successful defense. Call our York County law firm at 717-900-5677 or send an email inquiry. This may be the most important step in the right direction.