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DUI Process

Pittsburgh DUI Defense Attorney

DUI Process

If you've been pulled over by a law enforcement officer and later charged with DUI or other drunk driving-related charges, there's a lot you need to know. First of all, an officer must have probable cause to pull you over. Perhaps your vehicle's taillight was out or you did not signal before changing lanes. Any violation of the Motor Vehicle Code is enough cause to be pulled over (challenging such probable cause is also an issue for your defense attorney, which we discuss elsewhere on this website). While speaking to you about why you were stopped, if the officer reasonably believes that you may be intoxicated, he or she may proceed with a DUI investigation.

You will be asked to get out of your vehicle if his or her initial determination is that you may be drunk. Remain calm and be polite. The officer will likely ask you to take field sobriety tests. If it is his or her opinion that you are under the influence, you will probably be arrested and asked to take a blood test or breath test. Refusing to do so will result in an automatic 12-month license suspension. It will also deny the state a key piece of evidence to use.

DUI Stop: Tips if You're Pulled Over for Possible DUI Investigation

  • Remain as calm as possible and be courteous to law enforcement officers.
  • If you refuse consent for a blood-alcohol test, your license will be suspended for a year, although there is an appeals process.
  • Consider exercising your Fifth Amendment rights by remaining silent, other than giving your name and address to law enforcement. Remember, you have a right to legal representation.

Pittsburgh DUI & the Legal Process

If you refuse a breath test, your license will automatically be suspended. You have just 30 days to appeal the suspension, or it will stand regardless of the outcome of your criminal case. As for your criminal case, the following elements may apply:

  • Preliminary arraignment
  • Preliminary hearing
  • Formal arraignment
  • Pretrial conference
  • Hearings on pretrial motions
  • Trial, diversion programs and/or plea hearings
  • Sentence hearings
  • Hearings on post-sentence motions
  • Appeals

Contact a Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer in Pittsburgh to fight your DUI charges!

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