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Stages of a DUI Case

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, you may be wondering what happens next. At my Wilmington law office, I — Michael Modica — have more than 30 years of experience helping people charged with DUIs protect their driving privileges and fight DUI charges.

Experienced Wilmington DUI Trial Attorney

The DUI process is complex and Delaware’s dual administrative and legal systems requires a multi-pronged approach to protect driving privileges and fight the charge.

As an experienced lawyer with more than 30 years of DUI experience, I effectively help clients navigate both the administrative and criminal law system.

Stage 1: The Time Of The DUI Arrest

At the time of your DUI arrest, the officer will take your license, leaving you with a temporary paper license that is valid for 15 days. At this time, it is important to contact an experienced DUI attorney who can advise you on your options and the procedure for extending your temporary license and restoring your permanent license

Stage 2: Extend Your Temporary License

Soon after your DUI arrest you need to request an administrative hearing with the Division of Motor Vehicles to request an extension to your temporary license. If you fail to request an extension, your driving privileges will be revoked and you will be required to take the DUI rehabilitative class, even if you win the court case. Your temporary license will be automatically extended for 120 days when you request an administrative hearing.

Stage 3: The Administrative Hearing

At this stage, an administrative hearing is held to determine whether probable cause existed for your DUI arrest and whether there is reliable evidence that you were actually under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If the administrative judge rules against you, your driving privileges will be automatically revoked for 90 days and you will be required to complete a DUI course. If the hearing officer rules in your favor, your license will be returned. However, even if you succeed in the administrative hearing, you still must prevail in your criminal trial in order to preserve your driving privileges.

“Mike knew all the things to look for that helped prove my innocence & made the police look like fools for pulling me over. Mike never said take a plea, he fought to win my case. I won because I hired Mike Modica to represent me. Mom & dad may have given me life, but Mike gave life back to me.” — B.B.

Stage 4: A Criminal Trial

Throughout the first three stages, I will thoroughly investigate the facts of your case, gather evidence and witness testimony in preparation for trial. I will obtain a copy of the police DUI report as well as any video recording of the arrest and administration of sobriety tests. I will file a motion to suppress the results of the breath or blood test if there was an insufficient basis to stop the vehicle, or conduct a DUI investigation or that there was probable cause to support the administration of sobriety testing.

First we will meet with the prosecution to attempt a settlement that reduces charges and avoids the loss of your license. I have credibility with prosecutors based upon my experience defending people charged with DUI. If no settlement is reached, then we will proceed to a criminal trial. I am familiar with every strategy and legal basis to defend against a DUI charge.

For help navigating the stages of a Delaware DUI case contact me, Michael W. Modica, for a free initial consultation.

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