If you were driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, a cop can pull you over and arrest you for a DWI (or DUI). You will have to appear before a judge for your arraignment. If you ever find yourself in need of a personal injury law firm in San Antonio, we are here to help you and fight for you. It’s important to know the DWI steps if you ever find yourself caught up in the middle of one. These are the following steps that will most likely take place after you receive a DUI.
The arraignment is your chance to plead to the charge. The options: guilty, no contest, not guilty. A lawyer may also be appointed for you. Your bail amount may be set. Most defendants who haven’t posted bail are charged with misdemeanors. Normally, at this stage, it is unnecessary to have an attorney present since you are only entering a plea. If you have a prior DWI, you should deny said convictions so that you or your attorney can challenge the validity at a later stage.
You should now begin to evaluate your case. Here are the following options for you:
- – Plead guilty as charged
- – Plea bargain down to a reduced charge (i.e. reckless driving)
- – Ask for a trial before a judge
- – Demand a jury trial (which is available in most states—not all)
Your option of fighting the charge or plea bargain strongly depends on the strength of the prosecution’s evidence. Did you have a high BAC or were you extremely intoxicated? If the answer is yes, the negotiating may not be in your favor. If you want to ask for a jury trial, you may have a better chance with a jury of your peers deciding your case rather than a judge.
The Plea Bargaining
Plea bargaining is when a criminal defendant and prosecutor reach a compromise. The defendant will enter a guilty or no contest plea. As a result, there will be a reduced charge, a fine, or a jail sentence. Plea bargains most likely happen when there is some weakness in the prosecution’s case. However, if the evidence of guilt is stronger, the plea bargain is probably not the route you want to take.
Whether you decide on a plea bargain or taking your case to trial, you should have an attorney to represent you. The judge will appoint one to you if you cannot afford one. There are many attorneys out there who offer a free initial consultation to anyone thinking of hiring a DWI attorney.
You should never drink and drive. Should you find yourself in this position, contact a DWI attorney or a personal injury law firm of San Antonia, like the Law Offices of Jesse Hernandez, to support you in your case. Gain some peace of mind when you work with us. We approach every client with a focus on integrity, advocacy, and understanding.