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Timeline of a DUI

Understanding the DUI Process

When it comes to a DUI charge, many people are overwhelmed by the process involved. Although there are many steps, the entire process will usually take less than 4 months from the initial arrest. For this reason, it’s important to contact an experienced Bel Air DUI defense attorney as soon as possible after a DUI arrest.

Facing DUI charges? Call The Isak Law Firm at (443) 233-6877 today.

Start Date: The Arrest & Arraignment

The initial DUI arrest is obviously the very first part of the DUI process. Before you can be charged, convicted, or sentenced for DUI, you must first be arrested. Within roughly 24 hours or your arrest, or longer if you are arrested on a weekend, you will likely appear in front of a judge for your formal arraignment hearing. During this arraignment, the judge will either set or deny your bail depending on your specific case.

Within 20 Days: The Preliminary Hearing

As part of the arraignment hearing, the judge will notify you of a date for your preliminary hearing. If you were denied bail, this will likely occur within 10 days of the initial arrest. If you are released on bail, it is not uncommon for the preliminary hearing to occur within 20 days of the arrest.

Within 40 Days: The Pretrial Conference

In most cases, the pretrial conference will be held between 30 and 40 days after the arraignment hearing. This conference is between your attorney, the prosecutor, and the judge, and will determine which evidence is admissible and which will not be allowed.

Within 90 Days: The Criminal Trial

Provided you have not waived your right to a speedy trial, the state must bring the case to trial within 90 days of your initial arraignment hearing. Despite this, the trial itself can still take a number of months depending on the complexity of your case.

In some highly complex cases, your attorney may advise you to waive your right to a speedy trial. This will give you more time to prepare a strong defense against the prosecution, but it could take as much as a year for your case to go to trial.