JONATHAN BURGE

Attorney at Law

Going to Court

 

In Hawaii, persons who are arrested for DUI have to go through two separate proceedings.  The administrative license revocation process and court.  Here, you will find out what to expect at court.

Initial Appearance

When you bailed out, or were released the next day by a judge, you were given a court date.  Generally speaking, that is your arraignment date.  Arraignment is where you enter an appearance and say whether you are guilty or not guilty.  You do not have the right to a jury trial unless charged with Habitual DUI.  If you decide to hire this firm, you will not have to go to the arraignment, since I can go for you and plead you not guilty.

Trial

Your next court date will be about 6 weeks after the arraignment date.  That is when the State, through the Prosecutorís Office, must present evidence to show beyond a reasonable doubt that you were driving while impaired at the time of arrest.  For blood alcohol cases, a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher is enough to secure a conviction.

If the Stateís witnesses arenít there at the first court appearance, they will generally be allowed to continue the case for about one month to try and get their witnesses into court.  The State may get a number of continuances, but if they donít bring you to trial within 6 months of arrest, your case can get dismissed because you have a right to a speedy trial.  

Often, the blood alcohol evidence may be kept out of your case, either because of technically deficient results, or because the State is unable to get their witnesses on the blood alcohol level into court.      

If the blood alcohol level is knocked out of your case, you may have a fighting chance to win.  However, the State can still prove you were DUI by showing that your driving and physical condition indicates, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you were driving while impaired.

Although there is no guarantee of success, you would be surprised at the number of seemingly impossible cases that result in a win.  Therefore, you never know what will happen in your case until you try to win it.

 

 

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