If you’ve never been arrested for driving under the influence, you probably have no idea about what will happen to you. It’s certainly not something you’ll be prepared for since no one expects to get arrested when they get behind the wheel. Even if you had a few drinks and you knew you shouldn’t drive, you probably assumed you would make it to your destination safely. Unfortunately, many Portland drivers end up getting pulled over and subsequently, arrested on suspicion of DUI.
After you get arrested, you’ll likely spend the night in jail before being allowed to go home. However, this is just the start of the process. The next step is the DUI hearing and you may also be at a loss about what to expect here. The first court appearance is called the arraignment and it is the session during which you will be officially charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants.
You will find out where and when you have to appear via the police officer’s citation or your release agreement. The arraignment isn’t a trial and the only thing you’ll be expected to do is enter a plea. Your Portland DUI lawyer will advise you on how you should plea based on their assessment of the facts surrounding your case.
The Process of Arraignment
You will likely be arraigned the day after your arrest or within a few days. Before you enter your plea, the judge will confirm your identity and notify you of the charges against you. Depending on what your attorney advised, you will plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. You need to make sure you turn up for court on the date and time specified.
Otherwise, a warrant will be issued for your arrest. You will then have to face a charge of failing to appear and this will only complicate your situation. In some cases, your attorney may be allowed to appear on your behalf, but you need to be clear about if this is an option. At the end of the arraignment, the judge will tell you when you need to appear in court again.
The Discovery Process
The next phase is the discovery process. This is when your attorney will ask the state to provide all the evidence it has against you. This will include the police officer’s report and the results of your field sobriety, breath, blood or urine tests. Your lawyer will look at all the evidence and determine whether the correct procedures were followed. This will help them to determine what the best strategy is.
If you pleaded not guilty, you’ll move on to a preliminary DUI hearing. This is when the prosecutor tries to convince the judge that they have a strong case against you. If the state can’t show that it has enough evidence, the judge will dismiss the case. Otherwise, the matter will go to trial before a judge or a judge and jury.
How to Create a Good Impression When You Appear in Court
In a perfect world, the evidence will be the only thing that matters. However, you also need to be conscious of how you appear in court. The judge and jury will be influenced by how you dress, speak, and behave even if they’re not aware of it.
This means you should:
- Show up on time or even slightly early
- Dress conservatively and professionally. A DUI hearing isn’t the occasion for showing off your personality or keeping up with trends.
- Refrain from eating, drinking or chewing gum
- Be respectful when addressing the judge
Why It’s So Important that You Hire A DUI Attorney
Given the significant impact that a DUI conviction can have on your personal and professional life, you need to have sound legal counsel and representation. In addition to the possibility of jail time, you could face high fines, lose your job, and have a permanent stain on your record. The best way to fight the charges is to contact an experienced DUI lawyer in Portland before your arraignment. That way, your attorney can advise you from the earliest stages.
Contact Trilogy Law Group to Discuss Your Case
Book a consultation today to learn how our team at Trilogy Law Group can help you. Even if you’re innocent, we’ll do everything we can to get you off. If you’re guilty, we can help to you to secure the best possible outcome. There’s no need to try to handle things on your so when so much at stake.