This is by far one of the most frequently asked question that I get. Most people who have been charged with DWI want to wrap their case up as quickly as possible so they can put their criminal charges behind them, get back driving and get on with their lives like nothing ever happened. Unfortunately, this is not as easy of a question to answer.
The amount of time that it takes to take your case from intake to conclusion varies depending on a number of factors. However, the least important factor is how long it will take. I have found in my more than 20 years experience that most of my clients are more concerned with the results than the time it takes to get those results. Always bear in mind that a DUI is NOT, however, a simple traffic ticket. The consequences are far more excessive. A few factors do impact how long it will take to resolve at least the criminal side of your case.
First, it always pays to have an experienced attorney look at your case even if all you want to do is enter into a plea agreement with the prosecutor. Please understand that you can plead guilty at any point in the process so why would you want to do so without first having an experienced DUI attorney look into your case. In today’s day and age, when we get second opinions on even cutting our grass why would any person desire to simply enter a plea without having an experienced attorney look at your case is beyond me. Typically, If a person chooses to plead guilty, their criminal case will go straight to the sentencing phase instead of going to trial. While this speeds the process up dramatically, it also means that the defendant is typically accepting the full consequences that also come with a DWI conviction including, fines that typically run in the 1,000s, the loss of driving privileges for a minimum of 6 months, increased insurance rates just to name a few. Additionally, there are the collateral consequences including, possible loss of employment, loss of government aid, exclusion from schools/college, and, in some cases, even the loss of child custody or visitation. Therefore, it is never a good idea to plead guilty, simply so you can wrap the case up faster.
The Complexity of the Case
The complexity of your case is another factor that impacts how quickly your case can e concluded. I have rarely seen a case that is as simple as it may look at first glance. Complex DWI cases, such as those involving, multiple breath samples or blood draws not to mention if there were serious injuries or fatalities, will take longer to resolve for several reasons. First, if the case is complex, you should never not hire an attorney and if the case is a felony, it is unlikely that the Court will allow you to represent yourself. Second, your attorney will want to obtain all the discovery and likely do depositions of the key players such as the Officers, the person who drew your blood, not to mention those who did the testing.
If your DWI case goes to trial, the verdict that the jury reaches can affect how long it takes to resolve your case. If the jury finds that you are not guilty, the case is over and you are free to go. However, if you are found guilty, the case typically will move into the sentencing phase, which can likely delay your case even further. Sometimes, DWI defendants must wait weeks to be sentenced after their trial is over. Not to mention, your attorney will likely discuss the possibility of any appeal issues you may have which could also further delay the resolution of your case.
At M. Reid Legal Solutions, while we are committed to reaching positive outcomes as quickly as possible we refuse to sacrifice your rights simply for speed. Further, while we may at some point discuss a possible plea resolution, it will only be after our team has turned over every stone and inspected every skeleton in the prosecutor’s closet. Call our office in Illinois at 618-656-6622 or in Missouri at 314-703-7602, or fill out our confidential intake form to schedule an appointment with Mr. Reid, the person who wrote the book relied on by judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys in Missouri and Illinois.