If you’ve been arrested for DUI, you may be wondering just how long it will take to resolve the case and move on with your life… but unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. In fact, some cases get stronger with the passage of time.
Like most things in life, every DUI case is different. Some can be resolved in an afternoon while others may take months to finalize. However, there are a few factors that determine how long your case may go on – and the better informed you are about how the system works in Colorado, the better prepared you can be for the process.
Your DUI Court Date
Generally, in a DUI case, a Court date will be printed on your DUI ticket or on your bond if you have to bond out. Having an attorney is highly recommended when going through DUI for many reasons, but most importantly because the DA is much more likely to believe that legitimate issues can be raised when you’re represented by a professional attorney (read more HERE).
It is not advisable to try and handle your DUI case on your own.
When you have an attorney and he or she enters the appearance, the initial Court date is vacated and a new Court date is scheduled about 45-60 days down the road. During that period of time, two things are supposed to happen:
- Discovery: your attorney is supposed to receive copies of the discovery, i.e. all the information the DA will use to prosecute the client (you). This is also the time you would accumulate your own information if you have it (which is a rare scenario).
- Initial Meeting: at this point, you and your attorney will meet with the DA, discuss the case and theoretically if the case can be resolved, you will finalize the disposition at the new Court date.
If you are able to come to an agreement with the DA, your case will be resolved at the second Court date. Your DUI case might take a couple months.
However, if you are unable to reach an agreement with the DA and motion hearing and jury trial must be scheduled, your case may stretch out for a longer period of time.
It should be noted that just because the motions are scheduled doesn’t preclude the possibility of settling – you will still have the option of accepting the DA’s offer.
Some Things are out of Your Hands
When it comes to getting your DUI case resolved in a timely manner, there are some things that are just beyond your control. Frequently attorneys or DAs (or both) don’t expend a lot of effort to get everything done quickly. At the first Court date, almost all cases will be continued for another month if the attorney or DA says, “Judge, we need more time to gather our evidence.”
You should also note that resolving a case quickly may not be consistent with getting the best offer. I have had cases where it was through persistence that we got a better offer than was initially made in the case.
In my next post, I will speak a bit more on special exceptions the Court may make to speed up a DUI case.
If you have been arrested for DUI, it is highly advisable that you hire an attorney. Call us today at (720) 999-9506 to set up a free consultation.