DUI Arraignments

If you have been arrested due to a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charge, the first step in your case will be an arraignment. The main goal here is to agree on minor details before the case continues. If your case does not end here, then you will receive your case file which will be important when planning out your strategy. You have the right to an attorney during this hearing and it is strongly recommended that you take advantage of that right.
 
If you or someone you know has been arrested for drunk driving, contact a DUIlawyer in your area before the arraignment.
 

What is a DUI Arraignment?

 
In DUI cases, an arraignment is the first time the case is brought to court. It is the beginning of the entire DUI charge process. The judge will read to you the charges against you and your rights. Decisions will be made and the case will continue with another court hearing at a later date. The main goal here is to try to either end the case quickly, or to get the formalities out of the way before the case continues.
 

Pleading

 
After the judge reads the charges against you, the first matter of business in a DUI arraignment is your plea. You have three options here. You can plead:
 
  • Guilty
  • Not guilty
  • No contest
 
Unless your lawyer tells you otherwise, you will plead not guilty.
 

Setting Bail

 
Next, the judge will decide whether or not to alter your bail amount. It is also possible that you may be released on your own recognizance. A high bail may be set if the judge is worried that you may attempt to escape. For example, if you are far from home or traveling and you may just go home instead of waiting for your next court hearing.
 

Your Right to Representation

 
You will then be informed about your right to an attorney. You can either hire your own or have the court assign to you an attorney for free. Regardless of which you choose, if you do not have a lawyer at the moment, and you do not plan to represent yourself, the arraignment will continue when your lawyer can appear with you. Your lawyer will:
 
  • Try have the charges against you discharged
  • Determine if you were read your Miranda rights
  • Have any other illegal evidence against you dismissed
  • Attempt to prove that the police officer had either no reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop you in the first place
 

What Happens Next

 
Once everything is settled, the judge will set the dates for your preliminary hearing, pretrial, and trial. You will be given copies of the case file, which includes the charges against you, evidence, police reports, and lab results.
 

Get Legal Help

 
If you have been arrested for drunk driving, then you will soon have your arraignment. This is either the important first step in your case, or your chance to enter a plea bargain and end the case now with less severe punishment. Take advantage of this opportunity and contact an experienced DUI lawyer today.

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