You received a call that your partner, parent, or a friend has been taken into custody for driving under the influence. What will you do? First, do not panic. You need to be clear-headed to figure out what you have to do in order to help a family member or a friend get out of jail as quickly as possible.
Find Out Where He is Being Held
Locate where your loved one is currently being detained. They are either at the county jail or the police station to be processed.
The next thing that you need to do is call a lawyer. If they do not already have one, find a local criminal defense lawyer to represent them. DUI is a bailable offense. A judge will set the merits of their bond in order to be released. Their lawyer should be present at the bond hearing to dispute the decision in case it is necessary.
Once the bail has been set, pay it if you can afford it. After paying the court, your loved one will be free to go home. A bail bondsman can help you if the bail set is more than what you can pay for right now. There are agents in Summit County and anywhere in Ohio. This is not just goodwill, however. You have to pay them a small fee to convince them to shoulder the bail that will free your loved one.
The situation does not end after you have paid the bail and taken your loved one back home. They still have to go to court. Again, a lawyer needs to be present. If not, the court may assign a lawyer to represent them.
The first trial is the arraignment which should happen within five days after the citation. The arraignment allows the state, represented by the prosecutor, to officially file a case against your loved one. This is also where your loved one, on the advice of their lawyer, must enter a guilty or not guilty plea.
Next, a trial date will be set. Most courts, however, will schedule a pre-trial hearing/conference where the lawyer and the prosecutor will discuss the case.
Finally, there is the trial. The trial might either be a jury trial or a bench trial. In a jury trial, a jury will decide the defendant’s fate. In a bench trial, the judge has the final word. Either way, the defendant has the option to testify or remain silent. Their lawyer will, however, call witnesses to court and help the defendant win a favorable ruling. A subpoena may be issued in order to force the witness to appear at the trial.
Consequences of DUI
DUI is a serious offense; you can injure yourself or another person through drunk driving. One of the consequences of DUI is losing your driving privileges. Your license will either be suspended or revoked, even if this is your first time to be arrested for DUI.
In some states, your license will immediately be suspended even before you go to court if you refuse to participate in a field sobriety test or submit to a breathalyzer/blood test. You will also be ordered to pay a fine. Each state has its own minimum and maximum fines for DUI. However, it may increase if there was damage to property, injury, or death.
If you want to be able to drive again, you have to complete an alcohol and drug education program which is also called drunk driving school. You have to attend classes where you will be taught to prevent drunk driving. Your drinking habits will also be assessed. This usually takes several hours to be completed.