Arraignments are generally short sessions at the beginning of a criminal proceeding where the lawyer accompanies his or her client in front of the judge. The DUI arraignment is the first stage of the legal evaluation process where the charges are read to you and you state formally how you will plead and when the DUI trial will take place. An arraignment is usually scheduled shortly after a person has been arrested for driving under the influence.
Appearing in DUI Court
After being arrested for DUI, an accused person typically undergoes booking at the police station and may be held for several hours (or even overnight) until being released to a friend or family member who pays set bail fees. In some cases involving repeat offenders or DUI injuries, a person charged with driving under the influence may be required to go before a judge for a bail hearing before being released. The arraignment should be scheduled within a few days in keeping with the accused’s right to a speedy legal review.
The arraignment involves a judge speaking directly to the person accused of DUI. If a DUI lawyer is present, he or she can provide legal advice on how to act during the arraignment and how to plead.
You can expect the judge to ask you to submit your formal plea (guilty, not guilty, or no contest) and set the date for a DUI hearing. The subject of bail is also addressed at the arraignment.
Preparing for Your Arraignment
Having a skilled DUI lawyer prep you for arraignment can be a great asset in your fight to minimize the impact of a DUI charge. You and your attorney will strategize regarding the best way to move forward, starting with determining your plea. If you choose to submit a guilty plea, sentencing will happen at this time. With a not guilty or no contest plea, a DUI trial in front of a jury will need to be scheduled.
Your DUI lawyer will explain all of the DUI laws and the judicial process to you and make sure you understand exactly why you are being charged, as well as the possible DUI penalties you may be subject to. Use DUILawFirms.org to hire a DUI lawyer before the arraignment to ensure you are ready for everything it entails.
If you or a member of your family is facing a DUI arraignment hearing, please click here to find a DUI law firm in your area.