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What Happens When I Go to Court for My DUI Arrest?

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Court After a DUI Arrest

After your DUI arrest you're probably worried about going to court. Being worried about going to court for your DUI case is normal. However, you have nothing to worry about with the right DUI attorney. Let’s go over a few aspects of the court process in a DUI case in Tulsa Oklahoma.  You'll have a better understanding of what to expect after reading this.

 

Arraignment

Every DUI case starts with what’s called an arraignment. The arraignment is when the judge informs you of what charges the prosecutor is filed against you. You then either enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. It typically is not a good idea to plead guilty at arraignment. This is because you haven’t received any of the evidence in the case yet. A good DUI attorney will always plead the client not guilty at arraignment.

 

Each court and case is different. However, for a misdemeanor DUI in Oklahoma, if you have an attorney you generally don't have to go to court for your arraignment. We typically appear for our clients at arraignment so they don't have to take off valuable time from work for court. Not all lawyers do this and not all lawyers even know that this is the law.

 

Status Conference

In a misdemeanor DUI case the next stage is typically referred to as a “status conference”. A status conference is a chance for your DUI attorney to meet with the prosecutor and the judge. This is when they discuss your case.

If there’s any outstanding discovery issues these are typically discussed at this point. However, if discovery (meaning all of the evidence) is finished, then the prosecutor, the DUI attorney, and the judge will discuss a potential resolution of your case. This is what many people referred to as “working out a plea deal”.

Many misdemeanor DUI cases are resolved a status conference. This is important to know because some lawyers in Tulsa will charge a very high fee, but claim that the fee includes a trial.  This makes sense only if your case goes to trial.  However, these attorneys are typically charging you for something they won't give you. If an attorney quotes you a price that includes a "trial", ask them to list their last five trials. Chances are they haven't been to trial in a long time, but charge all their clients for the trial. 

We don’t do this. We charge split fees – meaning you don’t pay for a trial unless you go to trial.

 

Preliminary Hearing

The next stage in a felony DUI case is the preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing is a hearing where the prosecutor must prove that probable cause exists in your case. If they can't do this, your case is over. If they do, your case is set for trial.

Only the prosecutor is required to call witnesses and present evidence at the preliminary hearing. Like a misdemeanor DUI, a preliminary hearing is also a chance for the DUI attorney, the prosecutor, and the judge to discuss a possible resolution of the case without going to trial.

 

Allen Hearing

An Allen hearing is a formal discovery hearing. Both sides inquire and disclose whether or not they have completely turned over all evidence to each other as required in discovery. Not all cases require Allen hearings. In our client’s cases we request all evidence through the prosecutor by discovery, as well as Open Records Act requests and by issuing subpoenas. This may seem repetitive, but it’s the best way to make sure that we have all of the evidence in your case. It also helps us make sure the prosecutor isn't trying to hide something.

 

Suppression Hearing

A suppression hearing is when the defense files a motion asking the judge to throw out evidence obtained by the police. There are a number of reasons why evidence is suppressed. The most common reasons are that the evidence was illegally obtained in violation of the Constitution.

 

Trial

The final stage of the initial criminal case is a trial. A trial can have a judge or a jury determine the outcome. You are entitled to a jury trial, however, sometimes both sides will agree to have a judge conduct the trial. 

A jury trial in a DUI case can be extremely complicated. Typically, there are law enforcement witnesses, civilian witnesses, and scientific evidence witnesses. The science in the DUI case can be extremely complicated and requires a thorough understanding in order to present and defend the case clearly to a jury. A confused jury is dangerous. As a result, you need a DUI attorney who can explain the complicated law and scientific evidence of the DUI to a jury.

 

Summary

In the end the most important thing to have when you go to court is an experienced DUI attorney who knows how to get the best possible outcome for you in your case. Without a good lawyer, your case will not be thoroughly analyzed and have the right issues brought up in court to help you get your life back on track as soon as possible.

If you need help with your DUI arrest, give us a call and we can help you get your life back.

Tulsa DUI Attorney Robert Denton

You probably have questions about your recent DUI arrest. We understand. Tulsa DUI Lawyer Robert Denton knows exactly what you should do and how you should do it to get your life back under control. As a former prosecutor, he knows the ins and outs of DUI cases. If you want to get your life back, give Robert Denton a call and hire the Tulsa DUI Attorney who can help you put your life back together. 

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