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Home Blog Drunk Driving The steps in a Michigan DUI case

Once a person has been released from jail (usually the morning after their DUI arrest), they often begin to feel like they’re caught up in a tornado.

They have to get the car out of impound, they don’t have their actual picture license anymore, the plate on their car has been replaced by this paper thing, and then they have to find a lawyer.

As Michigan DUI lawyers, my team and I know that the steps in an OWI case are simple to list, although there is much more to them than even the most exhaustive examination can make clear.

In this section, we’ll very briefly summarize those steps.

For more detailed information about what is involved in a Michigan DUI case, the reader should look through the hundreds of articles in the Drunk Driving section on my blog. It is fully searchable, and one can find an answer to just about any DUI-related question he or she could have.

A DUI case, like any criminal case, involves the following 4 steps:

1. Arraignment: A person is brought before a Judge or Magistrate, informed of the charge against them, advised of their rights, and, if a bond has not already been posted at the police station of jail, then one will be set. This will include conditions like not leaving the state without the court’s permission, not consuming any alcohol or using any drugs, and being required to test in order to ensure compliance.

A person should ALWAYS plead “not guilty” at an arraignment. If asLawyer is hired before this court date, papers can be filed “waiving” the arraignment, the person will not have to go to court, and a “not guilty” plea will automatically entered on his or her behalf.

2, Pre-Trial, or Arraignment/Pre-Trial: The first real court date in a Michigan DUI case is the “pre-trial.” A pre-trial brings the prosecutor and the defense lawyer together to discuss the case, and see if it can be resolved through some kind of plea bargain.

Sometimes, a reduction of the charge or charges can be negotiated early on, while other times, there will be additional “pre-trials” before the case can be resolved.

In some cases, particularly where the evidence is questionable, there might not be any kind of “deal” reached, and the case set for a formal trial.

3. Trial: This is the “big cheese” in any DUI or criminal case. A trial is held when the parties are unable to come to any agreement to work out or settle the case. A trial should only be undertaken when there seems to be a very real way to “beat” the charge. This can only become clear once a thorough examination of the evidence has been made.

4. Sentencing. What actually happens to a person in any DUI or criminal case is decided at the sentencing. It is here that the Judge orders a person to NOT do certain things, like refrain from drinking, or using drugs, and also to DO other things, like attend a class, or counseling, and submit to breath and or urine testing while on probation.

For everything that can be said about DUI cases, the fact is that a person hires a lawyer to avoid or minimize as many of the legal penalties and negative consequences as possible. In that sense, then, success in a DUI case is always best measured by what does NOT happen to you.

There is, of course, a lot more to each of those steps and a lot of stuff that happens in-between them, but what’s outlined above really does cover the 4 corners of the DUI process.

The first a Michigan DUI lawyer must do once he or she is retained is begin investigating.

DUI cases don’t dismiss themselves. Most problems with the evidence are discovered though careful and meticulous investigation. Many times, critical police mistakes or other evidentiary problems are discovered only after a painstaking review of the evidence, and are not obvious at first glance.

This is where a real “DUI Lawyer” brings more to the table than some attorney who just “does” DUI cases.

If, after careful investigation, a DUI case cannot get “knocked out,” then the the most important thing, after a plea or plea bargain has been reached, is to avoid as many of legal penalties and negative consequences as possible.

In the final analysis, results matter, and producing the best, most favorable results, which really means the least amount of negative consequences possible, is what anyone wants when they hire a lawyer.

Finding the right lawyer is critical. No doubt anyone reading this is trying to do just that. As Michigan DUI Lawyers who concentrate out practice in the local, Detroit-area courts of Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Lapeer, Livingston, St. Clair and Washtenaw Counties, My team bring  decades of experience helping good people out of bad situations,

Whatever else, we care, and we’ll do everything humanly and legally possible to produce the best outcome in your case.

No lawyer can do more, and we will never do less.