Arrested for a DUI, but not court date or charges yet? What happens next for me? Here's what happens from the view of a former Michigan prosecutor
I have a lot of potential clients that call me or email me and tell me about a recent arrest, but there have not been issued a court date, and maybe not even charged yet. Some are hopeful that this means that the police are not pursuing charges, and maybe the case is over?
That is unfortunately wishful thinking. As a former prosecutor, here is how it works.
- The officer comes in contact with you, might run some field sobriety tests, a preliminary breath test, and asks you a number of questions.
- If you blow over the limit on the PBT, or don't blow, but show other signs of intoxication, the officer will likely arrest you.
- From there, either a Datamaster test or a blood test will happen.
If it's a Datamaster result, and that result is over the legal limit, you're likely to be further processed and you might receive a ticket or paperwork with charges. You may even need to post money to be released. If you blow under the legal limit, you might be released or could still be charged based on impairment (click to read more)
If it's a blood draw, the result will not be known on the spot, and may take weeks or months for a result, and you will be released pending the result. Sometimes you're charged even without the test result, because there is enough "other" evidence to substantiate a charge against you. In a situation like this, I would push for a dismissal based on lack of a BAC - push the prosecutor to go to trial without these results. Most times, the prosecutor will have to dismiss the case at this point.
So if it's a blood draw, you're unlikely to be charged right away, but you need to be productive during this downtime, and show that you're already making key changes in your life, and you're on the right path. Once charged, you will be ahead of the game to receive an outstanding result, and work toward avoiding jail, loss of license, and work toward a reduction and or dismissal of charges.
If you have a ticket with a charge on it, but don't know the court date, the court has not received the charge yet, and has not set a date. To avoid a warrant, you should call an attorney to track your case, file and stop any warrant for your arrest from being issued.
All these cases have to be reviewed by a prosecutor who can keep the same charge the officer arrested you for, or up the charge to something else. An example of this would be if you have a prior conviction, but the police officer just arrested you for a first offense. The prosecutor will formally charge you with a 2nd or 3rd (felony) if they are able to do so.
So don't sit back on your heels if you're arrested, but don't think you're charged or have a court date yet - this is lazy and will put you on the wrong path for your case. You have once chance to handle this case, and make a true impression on the court, prosecutor and police.
DUI Attorney & Former Prosecutor Jonathan Paul