If you or someone close to you has been charged with DUI, the case will proceed as per the criminal court system in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Most people have only a vague idea about how this works; therefore you need to have a highly-trained and experienced Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorney by your side.
What You Should Know About the DUI Case Court Process? Preliminary Arraignment
This is the first stage of the court process, and since the accused appears in the court for the first time, it is known as a preliminary arraignment. Here the charges against you would be read, and through your DUI Lawyer, you will have to plead either guilty or not guilty. Once this is done the date for the next process, the preliminary hearing will be decided. In Pittsburgh, the arraignment is held through closed-circuit TV cameras. The judge would conduct the hearing through video conferencing where they can see and hear you.Preliminary Hearing
This is one of the most important stages in the DUI case court process and would be held in person before the judge. This is done to save you from unlawful detention and arrest. The Commonwealth has the burden of proving prima facie that a DUI crime has been committed and you are the one who is suspected to have been behind the crime. Your DUI attorney has the opportunity to get some of the charges dismissed or dropped in exchange for a hearing waiver. In case the prosecution is able to substantiate its claim of you breaking the law with enough evidence the DUI case would be scheduled for arraignment at the Court of Common Pleas.Formal Arraignment and ARD
At this stage, the police would present the reports related to your DUI arrest. If this is the first instance of DUI violation and your act didn’t result in an accident and there was no death or injury, you become eligible for ARD or Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition and your attorney can appeal for an ARD. It is a two-year diversionary program and allows you to have all the charges against you expunged from the record if you successfully complete the program.Pre-Trial Conference
This stage in the case your attorney has the opportunity to request for fresh discoveries in the case. Many of the issues related to the case can be resolved at this stage before your case moves to the trial stage. Your attorney can ask for all the lab reports related to your BAC levels that are being used by the prosecution to charge you with DUI. It is also a bargaining stage where your attorney would be able to negotiate the best possible outcome with the prosecution.Trial
In the event of the negotiations having failed or your attorney failing to get you an ARD, your case would go to trial. At this stage of the DUI case court process, the court would take a position on whether you were guilty or not guilty based on the evidence and testimony presented to the court. The judge would finally pronounce the judgment, and if found guilty, you would be sentenced as per law.How Your Lawyer can Help
The outcome of your DUI case often rests on the expertise of a DUI Lawyer in the Pittsburgh area. He/she would offer you the best legal counsel based on the exact status of the case and defend you passionately. Your lawyer would try and discredit all the evidence brought against you and in the worst possible scenario, ensure that you escape with the least possible punishment.
It’s vitally important that you do not put off hiring an attorney. Without one, you could be facing far worse consequences than you deserve.
For a free initial consultation with an experienced DUI lawyer from Logue law in Pittsburgh, contact us online or call (412) 612-2210 or (412) 612-2210. Logue Law Group proudly serves Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas, including Eastern Ohio and West Virginia.