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Navigating the DUI Court Process: What to Expect

Facing DUI charges can be an intimidating experience, especially if you’ve never been in a courtroom or dealt with legal proceedings before. To alleviate some of the anxiety and uncertainty surrounding the DUI court process, we’ll take you through an example based on the journey of John Everyman, a recent University of Denver graduate who finds himself charged with drunk driving after a night out with coworkers.

Understanding the DUI Court Process:

  1. Complaint: John receives a complaint, which is the initial legal document formally accusing him of DUI. This document includes his name, the offense’s details, and the alleged incident’s date and location.
  2. Summons: Following the complaint, John is served with a summons. This document informs him of the mandatory court date he must attend to address the charges outlined in the complaint.
  3. Arraignment: John, accompanied by his DUI attorney, appears in court for his first hearing, known as the arraignment. During this proceeding, the judge formally reads John’s charges and asks him to plead. At this stage, John can plead guilty, which would result in the issuance of his sentence. However, he pleads not guilty, indicating his intent to contest the charges.
  4. Pre-Trial Conference: John and his attorney participate in a pre-trial conference with the prosecutor. During this meeting, they explore the possibility of reaching a plea agreement, also known as a plea bargain. John could plead guilty in exchange for reduced charges or penalties in a plea agreement. Let’s assume John does not accept the plea agreement for this example.
  5. Motion to Suppress: John’s attorney believes that specific evidence against him should not be admissible in court because the arresting officer lacked probable cause to initiate the traffic stop. The attorney files a motion to suppress the evidence to address this issue. A motion hearing is scheduled to allow the attorney to present arguments for suppressing specific pieces of evidence.
  6. Trial: John proceeds to trial, where the judge or jury will determine his guilt or innocence. If found not guilty, all charges will be dismissed. However, he will proceed to the sentencing phase if he is deemed guilty. Following sentencing, John retains the right to appeal the decision to higher courts for review. It’s important to note that appeals must be requested promptly to avoid waiving the right to a review.

While this example provides a general overview of the DUI court process, it’s crucial to understand that each case is unique, and outcomes may vary. Facing DUI charges can be complex, but having the guidance of a skilled DUI attorney is essential to navigate this challenging journey successfully.

At Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, our dedicated team of Denver DUI defense attorneys is committed to providing exceptional legal representation to help minimize the penalties associated with DUI charges. Whether you’re a first-time offender or have prior legal experience, we are here to support you throughout the legal process.

Do you have further questions or concerns? Call us or contact the attorneys at Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, and we will be happy to help.

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