“Good People Can Make Bad Decisions. An Arrest Does Not Automatically Mean You Will Be Convicted.”
“Talk to an experienced and qualified DUI Defense Attorney immediately. Be very careful when you hiring your attorney. Do not confuse an inexperienced lawyer who advertises himself instead of defending you.”
You can call me right now at 412-391-7999. I am an Attorney with over 25 years of DUI Defense experience.
The goal of this DUI Guide is to put you more at ease by helping you understand the process you will be going through as a consequence of your arrest for DUI. In particular, this guide will walk you through the process from DUI arrest to first court hearing, the Preliminary Hearing, the trial, and sentencing, through penalties and completion of all required programs:
These are the chronological stages of DUI prosecution. You may skip to your current stage and discover more valuable information by clicking on its link below:
We will also break out the process as it applies to those who just got their first DUI versus those who were arrested for their second.
This is just a guide. It does not replace a personal consultation with and advice from an experienced, qualified DUI Lawyer, such as Attorney Paletta. It is designed to help you get an overall understanding of what to anticipate as the legal process moves forward. While I can not cover every contingency, I hope this general knowledge will help you feel better informed about your circumstances.
In a DUI situation, you can be arrested on the scene and then transported to the Allegheny County Jail. However, if you consent to take a Breathalyzer test at the Police Station, or submit to a blood draw at a hospital, you will most likely be released from that location to a family member or friend who can take you home without going to jail. Aside from providing identification, avoid talking to the Police about what happened; anything you say to the Police will be used against you at trial. Also, if you were in an accident, do not tell your auto insurance company that you were drinking and driving. Insurance companies make reports, and these reports can be obtained by Police and the District Attorney.
The first thing you do is to talk to an experienced and knowledgeable DUI Defense Attorney. When I refer to an “experienced and knowledgeable” DUI Defense Attorney, I mean a lawyer who has actually defended DUI cases at trial. How do you find such a lawyer? First, you can read about a lawyer’s experience on his website under Case Histories. Do not be misled by on-line “paid Advertisements” for DUI lawyers who market themselves well; they may not have actual courtroom-tested trial experience. After you read about the lawyer’s experience, make an appointment to meet with the attorney for a paperwork review (specifically “Criminal Complaint” and “Affidavit of Probable Cause”), and to give your side of the story.
If you are released immediately, the DUI prosecution will begin when you receive a “Summons” in the mail which will contain a “Criminal Complaint,” “Affidavit of Probable Cause” and a Notice of Preliminary Hearing. Take this information immediately to a lawyer who specializes in DUI defense to discover your options. You may have defenses to DUI at trial, or in the form of a PreTrial Motion to Suppress Evidence. In my experience, many people enter a Guilty Plea to DUI because they do not want to spend any money, so they do not consult a lawyer who specializes in DUI Defense. Therefore, sometimes people are convicted unnecessarily.