Nobody is ever prepared for DUI charges. The court process is bound to be confusing for those for whom it is the first time to face the charges. It is important to familiarize yourself with the Orange County DUI court process right from the time you are pulled over.
Once you have been pulled over and failed the various sobriety tests, you will be arrested for DUI. Some of the tests may include breathalyzer test, field sobriety test, and blood test. Once you are arrested, the police officer will confiscate your driver’s license and take you into custody. You may be released from custody if you are granted bail.
You will be presented in court for your first appearance, with the judge informing you of your rights. You will also have the choice of pleading guilty, not guilty or no contest. Before taking a plea, it is important to consult your DUI attorney.
Depending on the case, your attorney may file certain motions. They can also advise you to consider a plea bargain from the prosecution. If you agree to the plea bargain, the case will not proceed to the trial stage.
A judge and jury will hear DUI cases that go to trial. Your lawyer will represent you in court and present the witnesses and evidence they will have collected. The witness testimonies in your favor can lead to lesser charges or help you to secure an acquittal.
Verdict and sentence
Once the case has been heard, the jury will give their verdict. This is a statement on whether you have been found to be guilty or not guilty. If the jury delivers a guilty verdict, the judge will then hand you the sentence.
Appeal and expungement
If you are found guilty, you have the right to appeal the court’s decision through your lawyer. After conviction, your attorney can also work to have the conviction expunged from criminal records.