At the Alameda DUI Law Firm, we understand all that is involved when you are faced with a drunk-driving arrest. Our highly-skilled Alameda DUI attorneys are dedicated to helping those who are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). As knowledgeable and experienced Alameda DUI attorneys, we will walk you through the criminal process and help to lessen the impact of your Alameda DUI arrest.
We offer free Alameda DUI case reviews. Contact us today for yours!
The Alameda DUI Criminal Process
Following an Alameda DUI arrest, the defendant is taken back to the police station and processed. At this time, a determination is made as to whether or not to hold the defendant and schedule an arraignment hearing or release the defendant on his or her own recognizance (OR). If the defendant is released OR, then the arraignment is scheduled at a later time. If the defendant is held over for arraignment, then hearing is generally scheduled within 72 hours from the time of arrest.
The DUI Criminal Arraignment
At the arraignment hearing, the judge advises the defendant of his or her constitutional rights and explains the pending charges. The prosecutor will then make recommendations to the court as to whether or not bail should be required. The defendant at this time is also asked to enter a plea — not guilty or guilty.
During the arraignment, other motions may be filed by either side and pretrial court dates are set. While in some cases the prosecutor may offer a plea bargain at this time, it is most often not a good idea to accept one. There are a number of factors that are generally involved when it comes to drunk-driving cases and it is important that the entire case be fully examined before a plea bargain is accepted or negotiated.
The DUI Criminal Pretrial
During the pretrial hearing, basic evidence is presented and a ruling is made as to whether or not the case should be brought to trial. During the pretrial, both sides may exam witnesses and file various motions. If the matter is not resolved and the case is dismissed, then the case is set for trial. In most misdemeanor Alameda DUI cases, our Alameda DUI lawyers can appear on the defendant's behalf at this hearing.
The DUI Trial in Alameda
The final phase of the Alameda DUI criminal process is the DUI trial. As with any other criminal trial, the prosecutor must be able to prove that the defendant is, in fact, guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” If the prosecutor is unable to do so, then the judge or jury should rule that the defendant is “not guilty.”
An Alameda DUI trial may be held in front of a judge or a judge and jury. At the beginning of a jury trial, both sides will participate in selecting a jury. During the trial, both the prosecutor and the Alameda DUI lawyer will examine witnesses, call experts to testify, and present relative evidence. Once all of the evidence is presented and all witnesses are heard from, then both sides will make a closing argument. Following closing arguments, the judge or the jury will begin their deliberations. When it comes to deliberations, there are no time limits and they can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
Following the deliberation period, the judge or jury renders the ruling or whether or not the defendant is guilty or not guilty. If the defendant is found guilty, the judge will then determine what the appropriate penalties to be imposed will be as set by law.
DUI Sentencing in Alameda
Following the rendering of the verdict, the sentencing phase begins. At this time, the Alameda DUI lawyer may present evidence and argue for minimal or alternative sentencing to be imposed. Any number of things may occur at this time.
Appeals in Alameda
Convicted Alameda DUI defendants do have the right to appeal the ruling in their cases. However, it is not always wise to file for an appeal, and most often, the Alameda DUI defendant will need to hire a different Alameda DUI lawyer who specializes in appeals. Caution should be taken, as appealing one's verdict can result in the imposition of harsher penalties than those already imposed.
Lastly, because Alameda DUI cases are complex, it is important to have only a skilled and experienced Alameda DUI attorney by your side who can walk you through the criminal process step-by-step, providing the guidance you need. As experienced and knowledgeable Alameda DUI attorneys, we can do just that!
We offer free Alameda DUI case reviews. Contact us today to find out what your legal options are.