Being stopped and arrested for a DUI in Delaware is frightening enough, but what happens afterwards can make the situation even more of an ordeal. Being charged with a DUI is only the start of the process and knowing the next steps after a DUI arrest can help you make the right choices.
What Should You Do If You Are Charged or Arrested for DUI?
If you have been stopped and charged with driving under the influence, neither resist arrest nor volunteer more information than is absolutely necessary. Instead, contact a DUI lawyer in Delaware as soon as possible.
While you do not legally need a lawyer after a DUI, getting legal representation can make a big difference. An attorney can gather evidence in your case, can ensure your rights are protected and can vigorously protect you from unduly strict penalties. He or she can work to help you recover your privilege to drive and get back to your life.
What Happens After a DUI Arrest in Delaware?
In Delaware, you may be charged with a DUI if you are in physical control of or are operating a vehicle, including a moped or off-highway vehicle, while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You are considered over the legal limit for alcohol if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or more.
What happens after a DUI arrest will depend on whether you are an adult or a minor. Minors will usually have their case processed through Family Court. Adults will face court and administrative proceedings.
One of the first things that will happen is that you will be given a chemical test to help authorities assess how impaired you are. Delaware is an “implied consent” state, meaning you voluntarily agree to chemical testing if you are driving in the state and authorities suspect you may be driving under the influence. If you refuse chemical tests, you will lose your license for one year.
You will lose your license for 18 months and 24 months, for second and third offenses, respectively. Even without a chemical test, you can still be convicted.
When you are arrested and have DUI charges brought against you in Delaware, police will give you a 15-day temporary license and take your state driver’s license unless your license has already been revoked or suspended. You will lose your driving privileges for at least three months unless you apply for a DMV administrative hearing within 15 days of being arrested. Your administrative hearing will examine whether you took a chemical test, whether you were operating a vehicle and whether police had probable cause to believe you were under the influence.
Your sentence for a DUI will stay on your driving record for at least five years.
In addition to the administrative process, you will also face a court process. Driving under the influence is a criminal offense in Delaware. When you are arraigned, you can choose to stand trial or apply for the First Offense Election program, if you qualify, instead. As of 2015, the First Offense Election Ignition Interlock Device Program is required for all DUI offenders.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Delaware, you must also schedule a DERP (Delaware Evaluation and Referral Program) evaluation. This evaluation costs $100 and will last about one hour. During the evaluation, your legal, medical, personal, social and psychological information will be collected. Based on the results, you will be referred to a program designed to help you avoid future DUIs.
If you are unhappy with the outcome of the treatment or education program, you can appeal to the Department of Health and Social Services Alcohol and Drug Screening and Evaluation once the program is over.
The consequences for being charged with a DUI in Delaware are obviously considerable. In addition to facing penalties, you will have a record which can affect future career opportunities, insurance costs and more. Having an attorney for DUI cases representing you in Delaware can help you navigate the system and can help you avoid undue penalties.
Contact the law office of Rahaim, Saints & Walstrom if you’d like to speak to a DUI attorney today.