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What Common Mistakes Do People Make After An Arrest

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2018 | Criminal Defense

After a DWI arrest, the biggest and most costly mistake that people make is failing to appear at the administrative hearing. I have had clients come to me a few weeks after an arrest on a refusal and tell me that a few attorneys advised them that appearing at the administrative hearing would not be worth it. Other people remain unaware that an administrative hearing had even been scheduled (these hearings are usually scheduled about 10 days after an arrest).

The hearing is important because it affords you an opportunity to cross-examine the arresting officer and find out exactly what he or she did or didn’t do during the arrest. That is a golden opportunity that’s worth much more than anything else in the case because you will have the testimony so many days closer to the event. A case theory can be developed from that initial hearing, and you won’t have that opportunity down the road. Memories fade, so it’s helpful to get the testimony from the sworn-in officer transcribed as soon as possible. That way, if the officer changes his testimony six or eight months later at the trial, then the recorded testimony could be used against them.

We have lost valuable opportunities to investigate a crime scene or interview witnesses who would have been willing to testify within the first couple of days of the incident. We try to strike certain issues while the iron is hot and make sure that we get as much information on a case as possible. For example, in past cases, roadwork was the cause of an accident and subsequent arrest, but we would have had no way of knowing that if the scene had not been investigated right away. Instead, we would have had to rely upon the state’s investigation and we don’t want that; we want to get the evidence firsthand.

Am I Going To Have A Criminal Court Appearance In The First Month After An Arrest?

In most cases, the court will adjourn a case for about one month. For example, if you are given a desk appearance ticket for a low-level criminal offense on your stop and you were arrested on August 1st, then you would be given an appearance ticket to appear in court on September 1st. You would go in, get arraigned, plead not guilty, and then be given a court date on October 1st. So, you would be looking at approximately 30 days between the initial appearance and the first conference date. During that time, there are certain rights in certain jurisdictions that get triggered. In addition, you have to put in a demand for supporting deposition on traffic cases within 30 days of the arraignment.

Some judges will adjourn the case past the 30-day period, which leads to the inability for you to timely request a supporting deposition. If the supporting deposition is insufficient, then the case could be dismissed. Within that 30-day period, you are also required by law to submit your demands for discovery, which we do in every case, even though the prosecutor’s office will give you paperwork. We do that because the paperwork is not all that is related to the case and we want to document what we have asked for; the prosecutor is required to give us the information we request.

How Often Should I Expect To Meet With My Criminal Defense Attorney To Discuss My Case?

You should expect to meet with your criminal defense attorney at least once or twice before your first court date so that they can explain what will be expected of you and to discuss the roadmap for the rest of the case. A lot of people who are dealing with their first arrest have no understanding of the reality of what is going to happen on the first or subsequent court dates. Some people might believe that they will be going back to jail on that first date, which is never the case because there needs to be a change of circumstances in order for that to happen. The first date is about asking for information, the prosecutor giving us information, and putting on a notice of appearance. We make sure to put our best foot forward, let everyone know what is happening, demand the right paperwork, and then give you the sense and the assurance that we are not going to have a problem on that first court date. It is very anxiety-ridden experience, and we want you to know that we will be with you each step of the way.

For more information on Common Mistakes After An Arrest, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (631) 994-7504 today.

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