A DWI case often follows a specific format. Criminal proceedings are generally clear-cut, which is beneficial for you because it allows you to focus on your case and defending yourself. Whether you choose to work with an attorney or not, this is what you need to know about the process ahead of you.
Arrest, Booking, and Bail
The criminal process for a DWI typically begins with an arrest or arrest warrant. Once you are arrested, you will be booked for the DWI. This process involves taking your fingerprints, gathering information, and completing the investigation into the charges you face.
Once you are booked, you will wait for your arraignment. This is your first appearance in court, and the judge will then set your bail. For many DWI cases, defendants have access to bail. You will issue your plea, and the judge will set your date for future meetings.
Preliminary hearings and pre-trial motions may come hand-in-hand. Throughout this part of the process, you can still negotiate your plea. You will either hire an attorney through this process or work with a public defender.
During this time, your attorney will determine what kind of evidence to introduce into the court. If the prosecution tries to admit certain types of evidence into court, your attorney may raise an objection. They will do their best to ensure that no prejudicial evidence is entered into court.
The trial comes next. For a DWI, you may face a jury trial or a bench trial. During a bench trial, the judge will rule on the verdict and sentencing. The trial will involve a discussion of evidence. Evidence may include witness testimony, videos, photos, and documentation provided by the officers involved in pulling you over.
After the verdict comes back, the sentencing phase begins for those found guilty. The judge will determine a fair sentence based on the circumstances of your DWI.
If you disagree with the judge's ruling, you may now appeal the decision. Appealing the verdict can lead to a favorable decision on your behalf, but it is always smart to consult with an attorney before you decide to go this route.
What Else Should You Know?
If you are facing a DWI, it is a good idea to work with a criminal defense attorney. A DWI attorney helps you wade through the murky waters that often come with facing legal trouble like DWI charges.