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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

What to Expect After a Bucks County DUI Arrest

In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, once you are booked for a criminal offense, such as a first offense DUI, you will be released back to your home where you will receive further Court notices in the mail with the date and time that you will be processed by police. Once this has taken place, a bail hearing will be set at the Magisterial District level and later, a date will be made for the preliminary hearing.  In more serious cases such as those involving multiple DUIs, you may be held at the Bucks County Correctional Facility in lieu of having a bail hearing and/or a detention hearing. Either way, it is important to consult with a Bucks County DUI lawyer as soon as possible as they will be able to prepare you for what to expect and assist you in navigating through the legal system without making your situation worse. For more on what to expect from being arrested in Bucks County, call and schedule a consultation today.

Breath Tests at the Bucks County Jail

In Bucks County, like the rest of the State of Pennsylvania, no breath tests are ever given at the jail. All Breathalyzers are given at a Police District and/or headquarters. In some cases blood is drawn at the nearest hospital instead.

In cases where Breathalyzers are given, a jail setting would only follow after an individual was found to be over the legal limit and there were more aggravating factors in their case. In 90% of all DUI arrests in Bucks County, you will be held by police, given a field sobriety test, asked to submit to a Breathalyzer and/or blood test. As a further note, you should always accept the request and then, upon complying with the officer’s demands, you will often be released to the custody of an individual or family member who can transport you back to your home or on some cases, the police will actually transport you to your home.

Requests for fingerprints and a bail hearing and/or a preliminary hearing notice gets sent directly to the individual charged with DUI and it is at that time that your attorney should make arrangements to meet at the police station for fingerprints, meet their Bucks County DUI attorney at the District Justice Office or there will be a bail hearing and arrangement for any preliminary hearing and/or date in the future.

Post-Arrest Expectations in Bucks County

After you are arrested for DUI in Bucks County and prior to being released on bail, you should realize a motor vehicle infraction has occurred or a stop has occurred in which police suspect you of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Field Sobriety Tests

You should expect a field sobriety test to be given to you by police and it will often be recorded so that it can be used in a later prosecution and/or defense. After that, you may be subjected to an onsite Breathalyzer, which is a smaller version of an actual machine that is used to test whether or not you are under the influence.

Breathalyzer Exam

If the smaller machine indicates a positive, then you will later be submitted to a full Breathalyzer exam and/or a blood draw. You will be read what we have commonly called O’Connell warnings which advises that should you be suspected of DUI in Pennsylvania, it is mandatory that they submit to a blood and/or Breathalyzer test.

Should you reject to do so, you are put on notice based on the fact that you refused and this can be used as evidence against you in a Criminal Court. In addition, you will lose your license for an additional one year regardless of the outcome of the case.

At this point, you are often brought back home, and later you will receive information pertaining to bail, pertaining to preliminary hearing and/or any further processing, and it’s at that time that you should comply with all requirements, meet with an attorney, retain an attorney and begin the process of your defense for a DUI charge in Bucks County.

Medical Provisions in the Bucks County Jail

If you are charged with DUI in Bucks County, you are provided with a medical exam upon entering into any kind of detention situation, whether it be jail or a holding cell at the Police District in the municipality in which the matter has occurred.

There is always the ability of police to transfer you to a local hospital should a medical condition arise. However, in most cases, police actually do transfer you to a local hospital in order to draw blood. Only a properly trained registered nurse and/or doctor is allowed to draw blood in regards to a DUI investigation.

That blood is then sealed, given a proper receipt and traced back so that at a later time, it can be tested and/or even retested by the defense, thereby establishing what is commonly known as chain of custody.

It’s at that point that the evidence is surmised in a blood and/or alcohol report that is provided to the defense at the time of the preliminary hearing showing the accuracy and the likelihood of the blood alcohol level and/or drug level in your system at the time of operating a motor vehicle.

This is one of the essential elements that the government and/or Commonwealth must prove in order to meet their burden even at the preliminary hearing stage.

Minimum Amount of Time Spent in Jail

If you are arrested for DUI, you are often only held for a short period of time prior to being released, brought home and later brought back for processing and/or a bail hearing before the local District Court.

In Bucks County, like some other counties in Pennsylvania, you are often non-held at the jail when the charge is merely DUI. A DUI can result in a sentence of incarceration and then later, you may be required after conviction to serve time in the prison, but initially you are held at the Police District and/or brought to a hospital for a blood draw. Upon the completion, you are either brought home by police or allowed to contact a family member or friend to come pick you up so that you can appear in Court at a future time.