Q: On New Year’s Eve, I was pulled over. I had been drinking and also had a small amount of cocaine on driver’s side. I would say .5grams. The passenger had a lot more he also told the police what was on my side was his. I think they found it on the floor of driver’s side. The passenger was arrested. I was compliant and cooperate to the best of my ability with the police. They detained me, took me back to the station. I did a sobriety test there and passed, agreed to a breathalyzer and failed .135. They let me call a friend to pick me up. However, they did not tell me what I was being charged with or given any paper work. What should I expect? DUI, drug charge? Both?
A: I would guess both. The police don’t have to tell you what they are charging you with. Sometimes there are not sure as they need to consult with the chief, a DA, or think about it after writing everything up. You can expect to be arrested by summons. A summons is a written notice for you to come to court for a preliminary arraignment, preliminary hearing, as well as a fingerprinting order. It will be sent to you both by regular mail and certified mail, return receipt. I assume you will be charged with 2 or 3 counts of DUI, possession of cocaine, and any motor vehicle summary offense that the police will use to justify stopping your car. Once you receive these papers, take them to a lawyer. The summons process is permitted under the PA Rules of Criminal Procedure to be used for most misdemeanor arrests when the police feel your contact information shows you have sufficient ties to the community, and will likely show for court. It is better for you than the traditional arrest process which would have resulted in your car impounded and you and you buddy spending the New Year’s Eve and the first day of 2017 in the jail.