DUI Lawyer in Toms River – What Happens After DUI Arrest?

The events that follow a DUI arrest can be confusing for many, especially if you’ve never been arrested before. It seems like so many things need to happen all at once. If you hire a DUI lawyer in Toms River, they will be able to help guide you through every step in the process, as well as represent you in court. It’s good to know the general sequence of the events that follow your arrest so that you can be more prepared.  

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Summons

The ticket you receive at the time of your arrest is known as a Summons and Complaint. It states the specific time, date, and location of your court appearance. If you haven’t hired a DUI lawyer in Toms River by the time of your court date, it’s crucial you appear in court at the scheduled time. Failure to appear in court could result in a suspension of your driver’s license and a warrant issued for your arrest.

Arraignment

Your first court appearance will be your arraignment. Here, a judge will recite the charges against you and ask for a plea of “guilty” or “not guilty”. If you plead guilty, the judge will enter your conviction on the record and impose a sentence. If you plead not guilty, the judge will set a later date for further hearing of the case and the court will adjourn. A DUI lawyer in Toms River will be able to enter the plea on your behalf.

Pre-Trial Discovery

This is the time between your arraignment and your next court date. During this period, your defense lawyer will be able to request relevant documents and evidence pertaining to your arrest. These include arrest paperwork, any video footage, and results from any breathalyzer or blood tests taken.

Pre-Trial Conference

This conference is held to see if you would like to enter a plea or continue to trial. Postponements of the pre-trial conference may be requested by your lawyer to allow more time for discovery. If a postponement occurs, another conference will be scheduled for a later date.

Pre-Trial Motions

Prior to trial, your lawyer can make a number of motions in the case to help your defense. They can make motions to compel discovery, motions to exclude evidence or motions to dismiss.

A DUI lawyer in Toms River will know which motions may be appropriate in your case. Their experience and knowledge of the justice system can be extremely beneficial. For instance, they may recognize when possibly incriminating evidence was obtained illegally and can then move to have it discarded from the case.

Plea Bargaining

The NJ Attorney General has prohibited the use of plea bargaining in DUI proceedings, however, prosecutors may be willing to negotiate punishments if your lawyer presents a compelling case for your defense.  

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Trial

If your case is not dismissed or resolved during pre-trial, it will go to trial. The case will be heard in court before a judge and without a jury present. During the trial, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. They must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A DUI lawyer in Toms River is tasked with the job of casting doubt on the prosecution’s case. If they’re successful, the case will be acquitted by the judge.

Sentencing

If the judge finds you guilty, sentencing will proceed immediately. While judges must comply with state minimums for sentencing, it’s up to their discretion to determine the appropriate penalty. Possible punishments include fines, community service, suspension of your license, or even time in jail.

You Need a DUI Lawyer in Toms River

Though it’s possible to represent yourself in court, hiring a DUI lawyer in Toms River is in your best interest. Their experience and knowledge of the court system are unmatched by anyone without a law degree. They will know if evidence was obtained illegally, as well as whether your arresting officer followed proper procedure. Someone unpracticed in NJ law may easily overlook certain technicalities that could be the difference in their case.

In addition to their practical knowledge, a defense lawyer will have established relationships with those in the court system. They may be familiar with the attorney for the prosecution or know the judge that will be hearing your case. The insight they can offer could be beneficial for your case.

If you’re in need of a DUI Lawyer in Toms River, consider the Law Offices of Thomas V. Campo. One of the premier defense attorneys for DUIs in NJ, Thomas Campo will personally and professionally handle your case from beginning to end. Every second is crucial to prepare the best defense for your case. Don’t wait – contact our office today!

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