Timeline of the DUI Process

Most people who have been arrested for a DUI want to know how long it will take to fight the case. The process can take anywhere from one to four months, with some cases taking as long as nine months. If you are wondering how to fight a dui, get in contact with a dui attorney as soon as possible to learn the specifics of the dui process in your state. You may spend about several initially between meetings with your lawyer and treatment. Below is a general timeline of the DUI process in many states.

Arrest for DUI: One of the first things you should do is ask to get in contact with a lawyer. The police officers might have an on-call attorney available or you might need to find your own DUI attorney using the yellow pages. An attorney can advise you on how to proceed.

Immediately Following the Arrest: An arraignment is generally scheduled for the next business day following your arrest. The timing on this can vary by state and court scheduling, but for the most part it will be your first appearance in court. Your presence is required in court and this is where you enter a plea and are advised of your rights.

As Soon As Possible: Get set up for a evaluating and enroll in a treatment program. Treatment or classes don't take long and will probably be required anyway, so the sooner you get started the better. Early treatment may even speed up the process.

Within 20 Days: Contact the licensing agency or department for your state. You must generally request a hearing regarding the status of your driver's license. You may get a letter from your state telling you the deadline for this submission and it must be completed within that timeframe. A hearing is usually scheduled within 60 days of your arrest date.

6 Weeks: This is generally about the time that your lawyer will schedule a pre-trial conference with the Prosecuting Attorney to negotiate a plea bargain for you. Most times the court will set this date in coordination with your attorney.

6 Weeks to 3 Months: Additional hearings may be scheduled regarding the suppression of evidence if your attorney has filed any motions on your behalf. Your attorney may file these motions if they believe that your constitutional rights were violated.

Within 3 Months: If your case proceeds to trial, then atrial usually occurs within 3 months after your arraignment or initial plea if no plea bargain has been agreed upon.

After the Trial or Plea Bargain: Sentencing will be imposed soon after a plea bargain is accepted or the conclusion of the trial. DUI penalties can include jail time, home detention, fines, community service, or alcohol classes.