After a DUI: Next Steps

If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, make no mistake—time is not on your side. There are a number of issues you will need to address, and you must work quickly. Here is what you can expect to happen next after your arrest.

Processing & Filing Charges

After your arrest, it is likely that you will be taken to the Arrestee Processing Center (APC) for booking. Upon booking, the officer will look up your driving and criminal record and consider the evidence against you. Based on your record and the evidence, you will be charged with one of two charges:

  • Class C Misdemeanor: If your BAC is between .08% and .15%
  • Class A Misdemeanor: If your BAC is higher than .15%

It is also possible that you may be charged with a felony for your DUI. This requires your situation to be more serious than other DUIs. Some factors that can cause a felony DUI charge include:

  • A prior DUI conviction within the past 5 years
  • Minos as passengers in the vehicle
  • Previous DUI convictions involving death or serious injury

After your charges have been made, you will typically be released, pending your arraignment. Your license will be confiscated, and you will receive information about your upcoming court date and the automatic suspension of your license. This notice serves as a temporary license until your license is confirmed for suspension or is returned to you.

Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles Hearing

You will probably face criminal charges, but it is important to immediately schedule an administrative hearing with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). After your arrest, your license will be subject to an administrative suspension, which means your license will automatically be suspended for 90 days if you fail or refuse to take a BAC test. You have only a few days to request a hearing, so it is imperative to contact an attorney immediately and start the process.

During this hearing, you will present your case to a qualified representative. They will hear both your side and the arresting officer’s case. You are entitled to legal representation at this hearing, and your attorney can be immensely helpful during this hearing. If the BMV representative finds there is insufficient evidence to suspend your license, the suspension will be lifted. However, you will still need to defend your license during your criminal hearing.

DUI Criminal Hearing

After your administrative hearing, you will also need to go through a criminal trial. You will be given a notice to appear in court following your arrest, and your first appearance will be at your arraignment. This is typically scheduled within 48 hours of arrest.

During your arraignment, the judge will ask if you are represented by a lawyer. If you are not, but would like one, your arraignment will be postponed until you have hired an attorney or one has been appointed for you by the court. If you already have legal representation, the judge will ask your lawyer to enter a plea regarding the charges.

If you plead guilty, you will likely be sentenced immediately. The judge may set a sentencing date for a later time. If you plead not guilty, your criminal trial date will be set. Between the arraignment and your criminal trial, your attorney will most likely meet with the County Prosecutor to discuss a plea bargain.

At your criminal trial, both sides will make their opening statements, present evidence, call forward and examine witnesses, and make their closing statements. If you are found guilty, you may be sentenced immediately or your sentencing date may be scheduled. If you are not found guilty, you are free to resume your life, and hopefully, avoid further legal trouble.

Potential DUI Penalties

The legal consequences of your DUI conviction can vary, depending on the circumstances of your arrest. The minimum penalties you can expect to face include:

  • Up to 60 days in jail
  • Up to $500 in fines
  • Up to 2 years suspension of your driver’s license
  • At least $300 in court fees
  • Up to 2 years of probation
  • Ignition Interlock Device installation
  • Community service
  • Mandatory completion of a substance abuse education program or victim impact panel

Begin Your Case Today. Call Our South Bend DUI Lawyers – (574) 281-0142

Don’t face your serious DUI charges alone! At the Wruble Law Group, our highly qualified team is ready to fight to protect your rights. With more than 40 years of collective experience, our South Bend DUI attorneys have the knowledge and seasoned skills to protect you from your charges.

Begin your case today by calling (574) 281-0142. Contact our offices to schedule an initial consultation.