Stages of a Criminal DWI Prosecution
An investigation is generally mounted when the police have sufficient reason to believe you have committed a criminal offense. Facts are assessed, witness interviews are conducted and evidence is collected against you. A warrant will be issued for your arrest and you will be taken before a judge to enter a plea. The judge may order you to remain in jail until trial or may grant bail, depending on the severity of the charges. An aggressive criminal defense attorney by your side at this point in the process can tip the scales in favor of your being allowed to remain free until trial.
When it is time for your preliminary hearing, the prosecutor will claim that there is sufficient evidence against you to proceed to trial. Your attorney will argue there is not enough evidence to support the charges and that all criminal charges should be dropped. At this point, should probable cause be established, you may confer with your criminal defense attorney to determine whether a plea bargain is in your best interests or if you will fight the charges before a jury.
Many people arrested for criminal offenses presume that their selection of a criminal defense attorney will have little impact on the outcome of their felony or misdemeanor criminal case. However, those who are arrested can substantially improve their situations by clearly and unequivocally asserting their rights and promptly retaining an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The stress and anxiety of an arrest often leads those arrested to make significant mistakes that compromise their case. The most important way to protect your liberty and reputation is to refuse to speak to the police and to retain a criminal defense attorney who can begin protecting your rights at the earliest possible stage of your criminal case.