If you’ve just been arrested for driving under the influence in Southaven, MS, or one of the nearby courts like Horn Lake or Olive Branch, the next step is to go to court.  As you are about to enter the legal system you probably have many questions and concerns, and hopefully this article will help you out.

There are basically two ways to approach your court date–with a lawyer or without one.  Honestly if you’re going to go to court without a lawyer there’s not a lot I can do to help you.  You are choosing to go down this road by yourself so good luck.  For those that do have lawyers, on your first court date, and maybe subsequent ones, it may seem like not a whole lot is happening.  Your lawyer will sign your court jacket, talk to the prosecutor about an offer of settlement, and probably reset the case to do some further investigation.

One of the most important issues in a Mississippi DUI case is the roadside video.  If the police car that pulled you over is equipped with a video, it should begin taping as soon as the lights are activated.  So there should be video and audio of you getting out of the car, speaking with and responding to the officer as he or she asks you questions, and performing roadside field sobriety tests.

The video will probably not be available on the first court date so your lawyer will have to request it from the state, meaning that your case will be reset.  Additionally, more time will be needed if your lawyer is filing or going to file any motions.  This could be motions to suppress the stop or the arrest, or to exclude the results of a breath or blood test.  It just depends on the facts of your case.  Point is, on a Southaven DUI matter, you won’t be pleading guilty or having any kind of long hearing on the first court date.  You may not go in front of the judge at all.  This is the time for your lawyer to be working behind the scenes, so to speak, gathering information and trying to get you the best deal possible.

Going to court on your DUI case for the first time can be scary. However, you put your self in a much better position if you have a Southaven DUI lawyer with you.  Contact attorney Patrick Stegall for more information at (901) 205-9894 or pstegall@stegall-law.com.

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