Stages of a DWI/DUI Case

Stages of a DWI/DUI Case

Stage 1: The Arrest

The first stage of any DWI is the arrest. In order for a DWI arrest to be lawful however the police officer must have made a valid traffic stop. A valid traffic stop occurs when the police officer has a reasonable suspicion that a motor vehicle violation has taken place. Once the individual is stopped the police must then have probable cause to believe the driver is intoxicated before they may make an arrest and conduct a breathalyzer test.

Stage 2: Arraignment

In Ocean and Monmouth County, after you have been charged with DUI, DWI, or refusal you will receive a complaint in the mail. A complaint is the legal term for a letter from the State that informs you of the charges alleged. At the arraignment, a defendant will be called on to plead guilty or not guilty. If you are representing yourself pro se (by yourself) then you may act as your own counsel and enter a not guilty plea. However, there are extreme risks to doing this. If you hire an attorney to represent you, the initial appearance can normally be waived. The arraignment will be said to be “adjourned” after your DWI or DUI lawyer sends a letter to the court advising that you are represented by them and are entering a not guilty plea.

Stage 3: Discovery

The discovery process can be the most important part of your case as it entails the State (police) turning over all evidence they have obtained on your arrest to your DUI Defense attorney. Your attorney will then carefully scrutinize the evidence in your case to determine what legal defense are applicable and whether the police acted in accordance with strict legal guidelines for conducting DUI arrests.

Stage 4: Trial

Some DUI arrests can successfully be resolved through a plea agreement. If a plea agreement cannot be reached then a trial will take place in front of a municipal court judge who determines your guilt or innocence. Municipal Court trials never involve a judge and/or jury. If you are found guilty the municipal court judge will sentence the defendant according to New Jersey guidelines for DWI/DUI.

Possible Issue That Can Be Raised During DWI Process:

It would be nearly impossible to create an exhaustive list of every defense and issue that could be raised in a DWI case. The legal system is very complex and literally take years to fully understand Issues can be raised to challenge the constitutionality of your traffic stop, whether you even operated the vehicle, accuracy of the Alcotest machine, procedures following arrest, and countless others.

A typical DUI can cost thousands of dollars in fees, not counting attorneys fees. A conviction can have severe consequences on your life and may permanently interfere with your job prospects.

Carmine Villani is Your NJ DWI Attorney

If you have been charged with a DWI or DUI you need to call an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney to protect your rights. Partner, Carmine R. Villani, Esq. has a wealth of experience in New Jersey criminal defense having served as municipal prosecutor and municipal public defender in numerous municipalities in Ocean County and Monmouth County throughout his 20+ year legal career.  Contact the experienced NJ criminal defense attorneys of Villani & DeLuca, P.C. for a free initial consultation. Call 732-965-3350 today!