What to Expect During the DUI Legal Process

Last Modified: February 1, 2024
By: Thomas HogleFebruary 23, 2023 |

How the DUI Legal Process Will Work Out

Being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) can be stressful and confusing. It is essential to understand the legal process you will face and what to expect. Hiring a knowledgeable DUI attorney in Mesa ensures you get invaluable legal advice and representation to help you navigate the DUI legal process.

Here, we will discuss the steps of the DUI legal process and what to expect at each stage.

Arrest and Booking

If you are suspected of driving under the influence, a police officer will pull you over and request that you take a breathalyzer test or field sobriety test. If the results show that you are over the legal limit, you will be arrested and taken to the police station for booking.

During the booking process, you will be fingerprinted, photographed, and searched. You will also be asked to provide personal information, such as your name and address. It is essential to remain cooperative but not incriminate yourself. You have the right to remain silent, and we recommend that you exercise this right until you have spoken with your DUI attorney.


After being arrested and booked, you will be given a court date for your arraignment. At the arraignment, you will be formally charged with DUI, and you will have the opportunity to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest.

It is essential to have a DUI attorney present at your arraignment to ensure your rights are protected and that you understand the charges against you.

Pre-Trial Motions

Following the arraignment, your DUI attorney will begin preparing your case. This may include filing pre-trial motions, such as a motion to suppress evidence or a motion to dismiss the case.

A motion to suppress evidence may be filed if there was an issue with the legality of the stop, the administration of the field sobriety test, or the breathalyzer test. A motion to dismiss the case may be filed if there is insufficient evidence to support the charges against you.

Plea Bargaining

Before the trial, your DUI attorney may attempt to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor. A plea bargain is an agreement in which you agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a reduced sentence.

The prosecutor may be willing to negotiate a plea bargain if the evidence against you is weak, or if there is a possibility of a not-guilty verdict at trial. However, it is important to note that accepting a plea bargain means that you waive your right to a trial.


If a plea bargain is not reached, your case will go to trial. During the trial, the prosecutor will present evidence against you, and your DUI attorney will have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses and present evidence in your defense.

A trial can be a lengthy and complicated process, and it is important to have an experienced DUI attorney representing you.


If you are found guilty of DUI, you will be sentenced by the judge. Sentencing may include;

  • Typically 3 years of informal probation for a misdemeanor charge
  • 3 to 9 months of DUI school
  • Up to $2,000 worth of penalties and fines
  • Driver’s license suspension for 6 months
  • Installing an ignition interlock device to your car for 6 months
  • A jail term of up to 6 months

It is essential to have a DUI attorney present at your sentencing to advocate on your behalf and to ensure your sentence is fair and just.


If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your case, you may have the option to file an appeal. During the appeal, a higher court reviews the decision of the lower court to determine if any errors were made during the trial or sentencing.

Please note that an appeal can be a lengthy and expensive process, and it is essential to have an experienced DUI attorney to represent your interests.

How to Beat a DUI Charge

Arizona’s strict DUI laws make it challenging to shake these charges. However, there are some common ways your attorney can challenge your DUI charge, including;

  • Challenge the Breathalyzer BAC Results

Sometimes breathalyzers don't reflect the actual amount of alcohol you consumed. Whether this happens to do a faulty breathalyzer or improper calibration, you can use it to your advantage.

  • Miranda Rights

Your Miranda Rights must be read to you before you’re taken into custody. If the arresting officer did not advise you of your rights, all the evidence collected may be deemed inadmissible.

  • Inaccurate Field Sobriety Test

You most probably won’t be convicted for driving under “probable” influence. So if your field sobriety test doesn’t effectively show you were impaired, you may get off the hook!

Possible Defenses for a DUI Charge

No matter how grim your chances seem, you can assert several defenses to try and beat your DUI charge. These defenses include;

  • There was no probable cause for your arrest
  • The breathalyzer gave false results
  • You have a medical condition that causes the breathalyzer to give inaccurate results
  • Your blood test samples were contaminated
  • The breath test should be taken after a 15-minute observation period. You can contest your charge if this wasn’t adhered to.
  • The arresting officer had no reasonable suspicion to make the traffic stop that led to your breathalyzer test.

If your attorney can help you prove one or more of the defenses above, you may discredit your DUI charge and probably get it dismissed.

Have you been charged with a DUI? The imminent possibility of having your driver’s license suspended or some other penalty is enough to give you anxiety. But we can help. Canyon State Law is a criminal defense lawyer with years of experience handling all kinds of criminal charges, including DUI. Visit https://canyonstatelaw.com/mesa-criminal-defense-lawyer/dui-attorney/ for more info and to consult with an experienced DUI attorney.

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Thomas Hogle
Thomas Hogle is a Principal Attorney at Genesis Criminal Defense and DUI Lawyers, leads a dedicated legal team specializing in criminal defense and DUI cases, offering comprehensive and skilled representation to clients facing legal challenges.
21321 E Ocotillo Rd Suite 125, Queen Creek, AZ 85142

Genesis DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyers - Peoria AZ Office

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