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DUI Court Procedure

Most court systems deal with a large number of driving under the influence (DUI) cases. As a result, there's often a dedicated section of the criminal court system with separate court procedures for dispensing with DUI charges quickly and easily. This means your DUI case will likely finish more quickly, but knowing what to expect can be more challenging.

Read through the articles below to learn how DUI cases differ from other criminal cases so you can be prepared for what lies ahead. DUI law varies by state, so check your local laws or with a DUI attorney in your area for the best information.

Articles About DUI Arrests, Booking and Bail, and Arraignment

Click on any of the links below to access articles on arrests, booking and bail, and arraignments in DUI cases.

  • Arrest: Read this article to learn about the basics of an arrest, examples of lawful DUI arrests, and how to challenge an unlawful arrest by law enforcement.
  • Booking and Bail: Learn about how DUI and DWI suspects are processed after an arrest and the finer points of posting bail for release from custody.
  • Arraignment: This is an overview of the first court appearance in DUI case proceedings. During the arraignment process a suspect can enter a plea, which will set the tone for the rest of the trial.

Learn More About Preliminary Hearings, Trial, and Appeals

Click on any of the links below to access articles on preliminary hearings, trial, and appeals aspects of your DUI court procedure.

  • Preliminary Hearing: Read this article to find out what to expect at a preliminary or pretrial hearing. A preliminary hearing is when a judge decides whether the prosecution has enough evidence to continue with a trial.
  • Trial: Click here to learn more about the basics of a DUI trial. These trials are unusual because most drunk driving cases end at arraignment with a guilty plea or plea deal. It's less common to proceed with a trial in a DUI case.
  • Appeals: If you opt to go to trial in a DUI case and you lose, you may decide to appeal your case. Read about how to ask a higher court to review your case for legal errors following a DUI conviction.

You Don't Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get Legal Advice From a Criminal Defense Attorney

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to protect your rights in a DUI case, whether you're dealing with a first-offense misdemeanor or a felony resulting in a revoked driver's license following a deadly motor vehicle accident. Visit our attorney directory to find a DUI lawyer near you who can help you better understand your DUI offense and the DUI court process.

A defense lawyer can help you challenge evidence, including field sobriety tests or the results of chemical tests such as blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tests. A DUI defense attorney can guide you through the plea bargain process and help you avoid jail time.

Learn About DUI Court Procedure

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Complex DUI situations usually require a lawyer
  • DUI defense attorneys can challenge Breathalyzer/Intoxilyzer or blood test results
  • A lawyer can seek to reduce or eliminate DUI penalties
  • A lawyer can help get your license back

Get tailored advice and ask your legal questions. Many attorneys offer free consultations.


 If you need an attorney, find one right now.

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