Tuesday, 06 April 2010 05:31

DUI Arrest in Orange County: Your Right to a Preliminary Hearing

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Being arrested for drunk driving can seem like a stressful and confusing circumstance to go through. You may have many questions - especially if this is your first DUI arrest. It's our hope that this article will give you an idea of what to expect when you go to court.

We should probably state first that although you don't have to hire a DUI defense attorney for a drunk driving case, it may be in your best interest to hire one anyways - especially if you don't know what steps to take or believe that you are indeed innocent.

First off, if you are arrested for drunk driving, you have a right to a preliminary hearing. Even if you remain in jail, you are still entitled to a preliminary hearing. The hearing usually happens within 10 days of arrest. If you are released from jail on bond, you are entitled to a preliminary hearing which typically happens within 30 days of arrest.

In a drunk driving case, there are a couple court proceedings. The first one is the arraignment. Next is the preliminary hearing in which the judge decides whether or not there is enough evidence against you to support a trial. Both the defendant's attorney and the prosecution produce their arguments in the case. A witness, if there is one, will testify if needed. The prosecution will also provide evidence to support their case.

Unless a plea bargain is an option, the prosecution's job is to convince the judge that you committed the crime of drinking and driving. Your DUI lawyer will try to expose any weaknesses in the prosecution's claims. For instance, your lawyer may challenge the chemical test results or discover that the blood alcohol test was not administered properly by police or medical staff.

If you have further questions about the preliminary hearing, we suggest contacting an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer.
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