How long does a DUI defense typically take?

By | November 7, 2013

Speeding Up the Wheels of Justice: Be Careful
The wheels of justice turn slowly. Everyone knows that. But when it comes to some criminal matters slow moving wheels might work in your favor. Just as is the case with many criminal matters, a person who is accused of DUI will often want to hurry the process in order to get their troubles over and behind them. This can be a serious mistake, with undue fines and sentencing at stake. Plainly stated, a DUI case can take as little as a few days to several months to resolve, with the greatest temptation to finish the case at the arraignment.

Taking Time

Nearly everyone is aware of the fact that anyone who has been accused of a crime has the right to a speedy trial. This includes the right to hear the charges against them in a timely manner. It’s for this reason that it might take as little as just a few days for an arraignment to take place, which is usually far too soon for the arresting agency to prepare their case against you. It is for this reason that it is usually best for a person accused of a DUI to first get the advice of a qualified DUI defense attorney to help determine what the evidence is against them.

As is often the case, by the time a person is arraigned all of the evidence needed to prosecute a crime has not been collected, processed, or witnesses prepared to testify. As a result, it is most often foolhardy to accept guilt at an arraignment for a DUI charge.

Fortunately, a qualified DUI defense attorney can quickly determine in what state the prosecution’s case is, whether all of the evidence has been collected, witnesses interviewed, and what kind of condition the case is in. All of this affects the time involved in getting a DUI case resolved effectively.

But What About…?

If you have been arrested on a DUI charge, you are being brought before the court based on the accusations of one person–the arresting officer–with very little, often just their opinion, at that point to back up his or her charge. And while it might be true that the person who arrested you is a police officer, they are subject to the same frailties as is anyone else. Mistakes can be made by that officer in their judgement, perception, opinions, and anything else. This is also true of any of the myriad of people who contribute to the case against the person accused of a crime. Evidence can be mishandled, lost, misidentified, and a host of other things. Unfortunately, without a qualified attorney working for your benefit, you would have virtually no way to determine if any of these problems happened with your case.

Defense Issues

If instead of pleading guilty at your arraignment you decide to plead “Not Guilty” and have your case tried before the court, you are giving your attorney the time and opportunity to study any number of issues that could and very well might affect the eventual outcome of your case. These are just a few:

Medical Issues. There are those with certain medical issues that can cause a higher reading on the breath machine. There are also other factors, such as a reading taken after a person has enjoyed an unusually large meal that might cause higher than correct readings.

Improper Arrest. The are numerous issues related to the arrest itself that might affect the validity of an arrest, such as the failure of a police officer to read a person his Miranda rights, which would invalidate the arrest and nullify anything the suspect said at the time of the arrest.

Weaving. Many a DUI case has been dismissed because the officer made an arrest based on a stop caused by the suspect’s weaving in their own lane. Sober drivers weave within their own lane all of the time, and unless an officer is experienced at this type of indication, there is a good chance that the stop would be determined to be invalid.

Drinking Does Not Mean Drunk. Many police officers begin their explanation of why they arrested a DUI suspect saying that they detected a strong odor of alcohol on a person’s breath, which might be true, but just because a person had had a drink and might reek of alcohol, doesn’t mean they are drunk. The only thing that matters is a person’s blood/alcohol content, not how they smell.

Tying the Loose Ends

All of this is a way to say that there are many reasons why a DUI arrest would not be justified or valid. Fortunately, with a qualified DUI attorney Seattle, you are in a much better position to defend yourself against charges that might not be justified. And although it is true that provisions are made that allow you to quickly resolve your case much sooner than at trial, employing a DUI attorney Seattle might be the wiser course of action in the long run resulting in much less of an impact on your life, which will lead to a brighter future for you and your loved ones.

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