A DUI offense is a serious, often life-altering event. If you were arrested for the first time, you may be asking yourself “What’s next?” No one plans on getting a DUI, so you probably have no idea what you are in store for. You’re probably scared. Here’s what you can expect to happen in the very beginning:
1. The Complaint – This is the document with the charges against the arrested driver which is issued and sent to the driver with a summons to appear at the preliminary hearing. It is sent by first class mail and by certified mail. If you do not sign for the certified mail, then a warrant may be issued for your arrest. So, check your mail.
2. The Preliminary Hearing – This is the first court date. Don’t panic: you are not going to jail and you are not going to lose your driver’s license on the spot. The hearing is held before a Magisterial District Judge without a jury. A District Attorney may or may not be present. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, will present just enough proof to link the person accused with the DUI crime and get to a trial in front of a jury. They do not need to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at a preliminary hearing. The prosecution will present the officer who arrested you and may introduce the breath or blood test results or the refusal. Witness statements may also be heard depending on the case.
A good defense attorney will use the preliminary hearing as a chance to hear the evidence and challenge the case against you. At The McShane Firm we are aggressive at the preliminary hearing and we have won many cases at this level. Having a professional attorney on your side is the smartest choice you can make.
The thought of going to court may seem daunting, but an experienced DUI defense lawyer should be at your side throughout the process. The McShane Firm is ready to do everything reasonably possible to help you fight your DUI case and safeguard your rights. Call today 1.866.McSHANE