If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) and are going to trial, you’re likely nervous and worried. Criminal lawyers in Daytona Beach are your advocates in the courtroom and are there to protect your interests. Knowing what to expect can help calm your nerves and help you best advocate for yourself.
Florida DUI Cases
Florida DUI cases are handled in two different districts. The criminal case will be heard in a courtroom before a judge and jury.
Then, there will be a decision about whether you’ll have your driver’s license suspended. This will be heard at the DMV’s Division of Drivers Licenses in an administrative hearing.
Your DUI defense in Daytona Beach should cover defending you against criminal charges and helping you keep your license or advocating for a hardship license so that you can still go to work.
Before the DUI Criminal Trial
Your first court appearance after a DUI occurs within the first 24 hours of the arrest and is called the first appearance. If you haven’t already been released on bail, then you’ll go before the court to determine whether you’ll be held in jail.
Next, about a month after your first appearance, you’ll go back to court for the arraignment, where you’ll enter your plea of guilty or not guilty. Between the time of your arrest and the arraignment, you should secure the services of a criminal lawyer in Daytona Beach to help you understand the trial process.
Unless your attorney advises you to plead guilty, you’ll enter a not guilty plea, and then your case’s pretrial conference will be set.
Criminal Lawyers in Daytona Beach Can Help You
During the pretrial conference, the prosecutor and your lawyer iron out your case’s scheduling and other administrative details. At this time, your lawyer may negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor.
With a plea bargain, you will plead guilty to a lesser charge and accept a sentence that is set in advance so that you don’t have to go to court. If there is no accepted plea bargain, then your trial date is set.
Alternatively, your lawyer may find that your rights were violated with a defect in the alcohol testing process or by an illegal arrest. In that case, they may petition for a suppression hearing, which addresses the evidence of why you were stopped and whether the alcohol testing procedures were appropriately handled.
If you do have a DUI trial, it will be a jury trial. This is a complex process you shouldn’t navigate alone. Instead, opt for defense from an attorney experienced in DUI defense in Daytona Beach.
The Administrative Process
The DMV hearing may uphold suspending your license, which means you can’t apply for a hardship license for at least 30 days. If the suspension is overturned, then you may have your license reinstated immediately, although it might be suspended again as part of a criminal court decision.
Part of a good DUI defense in Daytona Beach includes helping you make a case to have your license returned completely or obtain a business-purposes-only license, which allows you to go to work or school. After a DUI arrest, the best move to make for your case is partnering with Genine Ann Mejia.