DUI Cases in the Bucks County Court System
After arrest, your case is scheduled for a Preliminary Hearing in the District Court where you were arrested. The Hearing will usually be within 30 to 60 days from the date of your arrest. The address and phone number of the court should be on the paperwork that you received or the papers that will be mailed to you.
The Preliminary Hearing is a very important stage of the court process. Whether you are a first or subsequent alleged offender in the criminal justice system, you have important decisions to make regarding this Hearing. You may waive the hearing and have your case proceed directly to the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas, located at 55 E. Court Street in Doylestown, PA 18901. Or, you can initially challenge the charges against you to seek to have some or all of the charges dismissed or modified. Valuable information can be obtained at the hearing, and it is critical that you consult with qualified DUI counsel to help you make good strategic choices at this and every stage of the proceedings.
If you are a first alleged offenders, you may be eligible for ARD - Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (A.R.D.), which is a probationary type of program that does not cause your case to go through the traditional criminal prosecution process. Even if you are eligible for this diversionary program, you should consult with a qualified DUI attorney to determine the positive and negative results of entry into the program, and whether you may be able to obtain a better result than straight entry into the program.
Your case will next proceed to the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas, where your Arraignment date will usually be within 60 days of the date of the Preliminary Hearing. At the Arraignment, you will likely enter a "not guilty" plea to all charges, and the Common Pleas court process will begin. Depending on the complexity of your case, one or more Pre-Trial Conferences will be scheduled, where your lawyer, the assistant district attorney, and the judge will be able to discuss and manage the case. Your lawyer will be seeking "discovery" or the reports and information regarding your arrest and testing issues. There may be motions to compel additional discovery, or your attorney may need time to consult with experts on field testing, blood testing, breath testing, or other issues in the case.
Your attorney will seek a negotiated plea on your behalf. When choosing counsel, you should consider hiring a law firm that is known for going to trial. Where you are not satified with a plea agreement that is presented to you, it is important to make sure that your lawyer will follow through and fight for you, if that is what you choose to do. Most importantly, you want to make sure that your counsel is thoroughly evaluating all of the discovery and evidence in the case against you, and can effectively communicate your options. You might not like the choices or options that you have, but you must be advised of the options available, and your attorney must be able to execute what you want to do.
Qualified DUI counsel cannot guarantee the results of the case, but you are in a better position to effectively assess your case with qualified counsel.
Please call us at 215-542-0800 to discuss your case.