What is the Hall county DUI Process?
In order to be stopped and arrested on suspicion of a Hall County DUI, the arresting officer needs probable cause to believe that a person is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Officers obtain the probable cause needed to make a DUI arrest by observing poor driving patterns, watching for signs of intoxication such as slurred speech, an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and poor performance on field sobriety tests. There are other things officers are looking for, but those are just some of the signals used to justify a DUI stop.
A driver has the ability to limit the probable cause that the officers are looking for by taking steps to enforce their rights. If pulled over on suspicion of DUI, the driver should not say anything except to invoke their 5th Amendment right to remain silent and request a Hall County DUI attorney. Furthermore, the field sobriety tests are optional and should not be performed. Field sobriety tests can be difficult even for people not under the influence, and there are often extenuating factors that contribute to the failure of those tests. Lastly, the breathalyzer test is also optional and should not be taken. However, you do have to submit to the state's test or request your own test! This is not the roadside breathalyzer test; it is the State's chemical test.
By limiting the probable cause, you give your Gainesville DUI Lawyer the ability to argue that the arrest was illegal because the officer did not have the required probable cause to make the DUI arrest.
It is important to note that taking these steps does not mean that you won't be arrested. The purpose of protecting your rights is to help with your Hall County DUI Defense in court. The officers will still likely make the arrest, but now you have armed your defense lawyer with arguments to contest the initial arrest.
After the arrest, you will be released with a court date. The court will schedule a hearing called an arraignment. At the arraignment, the person accused of DUI, will enter a plea, be advised on their rights, and the charges pending against them.
After the arraignment, there may be several or no pretrial hearings to allow the prosecutor and your attorney to examine your case and negotiate a plea deal. A plea deal may include a reduction to reckless driving or some other lesser charge. If no agreement can be reached, then the case will proceed to trial. At the trial, the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you drove a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs or with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher.
In addition to the criminal process, a person charged with DUI will have to resolve an administrative case with the Department of Driver Services. Within 30 days of arrest, you or your Hall County DUI Lawyer must file a 30 day lefter to appeal the automatic suspension of your driver's license. This is separate from the criminal process and a failure to take action will result in your driver's license being suspended.
If the trial returns a verdict of not guilty, then you will suffer no legal penalties. However, if you are found guilty, you will face significant fines. The decision to accept a plea deal or go to trial is not one to be taken lightly. It must be carefully considered with the help of an experienced DUI Attorney in Hall County.
This is just a very basic overview of a DUI charge. There are many intricacies not mentioned, and we encourage people charged with a DUI not to try and take on the system by themselves. Hire a qualified and knowledgeable DUI Lawyer in Gainesville who knows the DUI process inside and out and will give you the best chance at a favorable outcome.