When facing DUI charges, your future is at risk. A conviction could leave you with penalties that can change the course of your life. This is why it is important to start preparing a strong defense as soon as possible after an arrest for DUI. Your long-term interests are on the line, but a conviction is never your only option.
In the aftermath of a DUI charge in New Jersey, you may wonder what’s next. What should you expect from the criminal justice process? Is it possible to mitigate some of the penalties you are facing? These are valid questions that you may have as you fight for your future and confront the charges against you. Knowing what to expect from the DUI process may be helpful during this complicated and difficult time.
What is going to happen next after a DUI arrest?
If law enforcement notices a driver exhibiting certain behaviors that could indicate drunk driving, he or she will initiate a suspected DUI traffic stop. During this process, the law enforcement officer may ask the driver to submit to sobriety tests or even a chemical test. If there is reason to do so, the officer may then arrest the driver.
After taking the driver into custody, officers will take him or her to the local station. They will book the driver, take a mug shot and give him or her notice of when to appear in court to answer to the charges.
After the hearing
When a defendant appears in court, he or she has the right to plead guilty or not guilty. You should know that if you plead not guilty, the prosecution may show video footage gathered by law enforcement of your behavior at the scene or police station. You may also lose your license, even if it is your first DUI.
After this point, it is possible you could go to jail if convicted or you plead guilty. You may also have to pay an expensive fine, and later you may have to attend an alcohol treatment course. One of the penalties you could also face may include a required installation of an ignition interlock device.
You can fight back
Whether it’s your first DUI offense or you have previous DUIs on your record, you do not have to face a drunk driving charge on your own. An experienced attorney can help you see how you can develop a defense that will allow you to fight back, protect your interests and possibly avoid some of the detrimental penalties you are facing.