Because it’s typical to celebrate with drinking on Halloween and other similar holidays, party holidays like Halloween often see a substantial increase in the number of drivers arrested for drunk driving. If you’re among the many drivers facing a DUI charge for driving while under the influence on Halloween, here’s what to expect.
Court and Processing Delays
If you’re arrested for a DUI on Halloween, expect the entire process—from being booked at the police station at the time of arrest all the way until your hearing—to take longer than it would at any other time of year. Every year during the holiday season, crimes of all types increase, and Halloween typically marks the beginning of that crime spike. Because of this increase, the court system can get bogged down by the increased number of cases. Although anyone charged with a crime is entitled to a hearing within a specified period of time, this too can be delayed by the density of holidays in the months directly following Halloween.
Difficulty Finding a DUI Defense Lawyer
You may also have a more difficult time finding a qualified DUI defense lawyer than you would if your DUI had occurred at another time of year. This is also due to the increased number of crimes that occur in the last two months of the calendar year. Attorneys will have full schedules, so be sure to be proactive and find an experienced DUI lawyer right away.
Standard Legal Procedure
Aside from the potential for delays and possible difficulties finding representation, a DUI sustained on Halloween is the same as a DUI on any other day. Following your arrest, the court will send out an official notice that details your charges and provides the details for your arraignment.
When you go to court for your arraignment, you’ll provide your details to the probation office before proceeding to the courtroom, where you’ll wait until your name is called. When you’re called up, it’s time to enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty. If you plead not guilty, the court will release you and you won’t be expected back until the time of your pre-trial conference.
A pre-trial conference is a meeting between the defense and the prosecution which occurs in front of the judge. Both sides present their evidence and any information related to the case. At this time, the prosecution may offer you a plea deal.
If you don’t take the plea deal, you’ll return to court a third time for your hearing. Your lawyer will argue your case and work to secure a favorable outcome. If they’re unsuccessful, you’ll face the legal consequences of a DUI. In the state of Massachusetts, these penalties include fines, license suspension, installing IIDs, and—in some cases—jail time.
To protect yourself from Massachusetts DUI penalties, you’ll want to work with an experienced and qualified DUI defense lawyer. Attorney Joseph Higgins specializes in the exclusive practice of OUI and DUI defense. If you’re interested in working with him, you can schedule a free consultation now.