Step by Step Guide for a DUI Case

driving under the influence (DUI) conviction can have a huge impact on your life.  If you have been charged with a DUI, you need to have an experienced legal team who will help you understand the step by step process that will take place during your case.  From the time you are pulled over and arrested through the actual trial, understanding the process can help you feel less overwhelmed as you reach each step.

Basiga Law Firm’s trained drunk driving defense team is ready to help you deal with your charges.  We will investigate your case to find Common DUI Mistakes including problems with how you were pulled over or with how your bodily alcohol content testing (BAC) was conducted.  Understand how your case will proceed through the guide broken down below.

Step One – Testing and Arrest

After being pulled over, if a police officer suspects you are driving under the influence (DUI) he or she will ask you to perform a series of tests known as the Standard Field Sobriety Tests.  These tests can involve tasks such as the “walk and turn”, “one legged stand”, and the “horizontal gaze nystagmus.”  If the police officer believes that you have not successfully completed those tasks, he or she may ask you to perform a Preliminary Breath Test (also known as a “breathalyzer” test).  If your BAC reading is at a .08 or higher, you will likely be arrested and charged with a DUI and taken to the police station.

Step Two – Additional Testing at Station

Once you have been arrested, you may be asked to submit to a blood draw done at the hospital or another breath test done at the police station.  Michigan’s Implied Consent Law requires that anyone asked to submit to either of these tests, by a police officer, must do so.  If not, that person’s license could be revoked for at least one year.

Step Three – Arraignment

The next step is for formal charges to be filed against you.  If you are arrested overnight, the arraignment will usually be held the next day.  At these proceedings, the charges you are facing will be outlined along with the maximum potential punishment if you are convicted.

Do not go to your arraignment without having knowledgeable legal counsel, even though having an attorney at this stage is not required.  It is vital to have a well-trained  drunk driving defense lawyer, like our team at Basiga Law Firm, to begin framing your defense.

The potential penalties you will be facing if this is your first offense, when your BAC is at a .08 or higher could  include the following:

  • Sentence of up to 93 days in jail
  • License suspension for up to 180 days
  • Addition of 6 points on your driver’s license
  • A fine of up to $500
  • Up to 360 hours of required community service

 

The punishments for a first offense conviction with a higher BAC are more severe.  A person convicted with a BAC over .17 will typically be charged with a High BAC Operating While Intoxicated (OWI).  The penalties include the following things:

  • Sentence of up 180 days in jail
  • License suspension for up to one year
  • Addition of 6 points on your driver’s license
  • A fine of up to $700
  • Up to 360 hours of required community service
  • Required completion of an alcohol treatment program
  • Ignition interlock installation on vehicle along with additional license restrictions

If you are facing your third alcohol related offense, you may face a Felony DUI charge. The punishment if convicted is up to five years of jail time.  After your arraignment for this charge, you will also have to attend a preliminary examination.

Additionally, you will face more severe punishment if your action resulted in an injury or the death of another person.  Additional charges may also be brought if children were in the vehicle at the time of the accident.  Do not wait, contact Basiga Law Firm to represent you at this important stage in your DUI case.

Step Four – Pre-Trial Conference

When your pre-trial conference is held, the defense and the prosecution will discuss you case and a plea offer from the prosecutor may be made.  If a plea offer is not made or if you do not want to accept the plea offer your case will be set for a jury trial.  As your drunk driving defense attorney, Basiga Law Firm will fight to properly represent you in your case.  The pre-trial conference offers a great opportunity to avoid going to trial.

Step Five – Preliminary Examination

Anyone facing felony charges will first go through a preliminary exam. The preliminary exam is your defense team’s first opportunity to test the prosecutor’s case.  At this point, the prosecution must present enough evidence to the judge to show that there is probable cause to move your case up to the circuit court.  During this hearing, your Basiga Law Firm defense team will have a chance to cross examine the prosecutor’s witnesses and to test how each witness will stand-up to intense cross-examination.

The lawyers at Basiga Law Firm have years of experience and have successfully defended many people during their preliminary examination.  If the judge is convinced that there is enough evidence to move your case up to the circuit court, then your case will be “bound over” for trial in the circuit court.  If there is not enough evidence for the prosecutor to move forward, then your case will be dismissed.

Step Six – Selection of Jury

The final step before heading to trial is jury selection.  Misdemeanor DUI charges will require a jury to have six members.  If your case is moved up to the circuit court and your case goes to a jury trial, a felony jury must have twelve jurors selected.  An experienced DUI defense attorney will work hard to get jurors for your case who will properly decide your case.  The makeup of your jury is important because they will decide whether or not you will receive a guilty conviction.

Step Seven – Trial and Sentencing

Once your trial starts, the prosecution will need to prove you are guilty to the jury.  Our team at Basiga Law Firm will work hard to avoid Common DUI Mistakes and will fight for the most optimal outcome in your trial.  As outlined above, the penalties you will face after being convicted vary depending on the charges that were brought against you.

Step by Step Through Your DUI

The drunk driving criminal defense team at Basiga Law Firm will review with you all of the steps for your DUI case.  Our lawyers are ready to be at your side through each step of the process and will help you avoid a conviction in your case.  Contact the Basiga Law Firm today.