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What to expect after a DUI arrest in Pennsylvania

A lot may be on your mind after your first DUI arrest, especially the effect it will have on your future. Simple knowledge and preparation after your arrest not only can calm your nerves, but it can also eliminate or reduce some of the lasting consequences of your DUI. Most importantly, you need to know the first thing you should do after a DUI arrest to increase your chances of a good outcome.

What you should do after an arrest

Do not wait for formal charges, known as the criminal complaint, to arrive. Call a criminal defense attorney right away. It is imperative that your lawyer be able to investigate immediately, including the following:

  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Taking photos of the accident or arrest location
  • Utilizing an accident reconstructionist if applicable
  • Talking to the arresting officer to discourage certain charges
  • Finding out your blood test results before the preliminary hearing

An attorney can also claim the court documents so you do not miss them in the mail and have another arrest. Other assistance includes determining if police followed all procedures, had probable cause to arrest you and administered tests correctly. Acting promptly can help your case and decrease the lasting effects of a DUI charge.

What happens after a DUI arrest

Just because the police released you from custody does not mean there will not be any consequences. It just means that you met certain requirements that allowed you to go home before having to go to court. You will receive the charges in the mail with a court summons for a preliminary hearing. The papers will usually come within days of your DUI and detail the charges and officer's narrative of what happened. Because the police have to file within five days of your release, you may receive charges even before your blood test results are complete.

The hearing, or arraignment, is not a trial but an opportunity for a judge to decide if there is a sufficient case against you to warrant a trial. This does not require as much evidence as needed in a trial. Your lawyer will be able to cross-examine the officer and any witnesses. You also will find out your test results if your attorney has not already.

This hearing will determine what happens to you next. Therefore, it is vital that you have a criminal defense lawyer by your side from the very beginning to minimize the effects of your DUI arrest. Your future is worth the cost of qualified legal representation.

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Haller & Imbarlina, P.C.
20120 Route 19, Suite 208
Gigliotti Plaza
Cranberry Township, PA 16066

Phone: 724-935-0820
Fax: 724-779-6299
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Haller & Imbarlina, P.C.