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Stages of a DUI Case

Taking Your Case Through the Entire DUI Defense Process

After a drunk driving arrest, there are a lot of things you will have to do in order to protect your rights and keep your license. You want an experienced DUI defense lawyer who understands Pennsylvania drunk driving laws protecting your rights. At the Bucks County law offices of Attorney Niels C. Eriksen, we will walk you through every step of the process.

An Arrest Never Comes at a Convenient Time
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Initial Arrest

After your initial DUI, the arresting officer has discretion to hold you in jail. Whether you are taken to jail or released to a friend or family member, we can help your right away. We will look at all possible defenses for your DUI, including roadside tests and breathalyzers. We can also work with the judge to have your bail reduced.


Within a month of your arrest, you will receive a summons with the date of your preliminary hearing, a copy of the charges, and the officer's affidavit of probable cause. This includes important information about the prosecution's case and we will conduct an investigation before your hearing. Your summons is a list of the charges and facts alleged against you, and the most important document at the outset of your case.

Preliminary Hearing

Most likely, the preliminary hearing will be the first hearing in your drunk driving case. At this stage, the District Attorney has not had a chance to prepare the officer or witnesses. The Preliminary Hearings gives an experienced defense lawyer the opportunity to cross-examine them, and exploit weaknesses in their case. The court questions if there is sufficient evidence to proceed with a prosecution, but it is a vital opportunity to gather important information. Formal Arraignment

Approximately one month after your preliminary hearing, you will have a formal arraignment, where the judge will notify you of the official charges, notify you of the maximum penalties, and advise you of your trial rights. A trial date will also be set at the Formal Arraignment.


For your first or second DUI offense, you have no right to a jury trial. You will instead have the right to a waiver trial before a judge. All other drunk driving offenses provide the right to a jury trial. Our law firm has over a decade of experience defending cases in both waiver trials and jury trials. We will build your DUI defense based on establishing errors or liberties taken by the police. Many attorneys fail to put on favorable evidence, but we will take advantage of every opportunity to build your case. Do not use an inexperienced lawyer for your trial.


If you are convicted, the judge can sentence you immediately following a bench or jury verdict. We will work to prepare mitigating factors, favorable evidence, and character witnesses to reduce your DUI sentencing. There is still a lot of work that can be done to reduce the potential consequences.

Contact Us

The process of building a DUI defense is long and involved, but from our Bucks County law offices, we are ready to step in right away. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including jail visits and bail hearings, so contact us today for a free initial consultation. For your convenience, we provide a blood alcohol content calculator on this site.

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Located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania (PA), the Law Office of Niels C. Eriksen Jr., LLC represents clients throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and northeast Philadelphia, including residents of Langhorne, Bensalem, Bristol, Bristol Borough, Croydon, Doylestown, Fairless Hills, Falls Township, Levittown, Lower Makefield, Upper Makefield, Morrisville, New Hope, Newtown, Philadelphia, Richboro, Southampton, Trevose, Warminster, Warrington, Washington Crossing, Yardley, lower Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County and Philadelphia County.

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