A DUI or DWI arrest is not an automatic criminal charge. However, once you’ve been released, you will normally receive a notice later of the DUI or DWI charge. If you recently underwent an arrest for DUI, you may be curious about the process. Here’s what to expect when you’re being charged with a DUI.
Who Files Charges?
Keep in mind that most arrest files for DUI and DWIs are behind schedule. After you’re released from police booking, it may be a while before your case gets filed. This means that you won’t have your court date right away. Now, you can always call the clerk of the court to find out about a pending case and ask if there is a court date. The official who will file the charges against you is the District Attorney.
If you’re curious about your court date, you should never contact the DA to find out if the charges have been filed. Sometimes, cases may be lost and it’s not completely unheard of that a charge won’t be filed at all. If you bring it up, then you’re bringing it back to the attention of the DA.
What Is the Statute of Limitations?
Every state has its own statute of limitations regarding DUI and DWI charges. In addition, there is a difference between the statute of limitations in a misdemeanor DUI or DWI charge and a felony DUI charge. In misdemeanors, DAs usually have about a year to file the charges, whereas felonies may have a longer statute of limitations.
Often, those first offenders face misdemeanor DUI charges, whereas second or third DUI offenses or those with aggravating factors may have a felony charge against them. It’s important to know your state’s specific law when it comes to DUIs. Given that the prosecutor has time to file charges, you should always keep your eye out for notices of the charges. If you move out of state or if you miss the notice of your court date, you are still responsible for making it to court.
When it comes to DUIs and DWIs, it’s stressful to have to wait for your court date. Keep in mind that it could be up to a year before you have a trial date. You can always hire an attorney or contact the court’s office to ask about pending cases. A DUI lawyer will be able to help you through the process if charges haven’t been filed yet. For information on DUI cases, contact a lawyer today.