Your First Court Hearing After A DUI Arrest
A lot of people find themselves in jail and charged with driving under the influence (DUI). It's one of the most common reasons for an arrest. That is mainly because the laws concerning impaired driving don't give law enforcement any leniency when it comes to taking those accused of drunk driving off the roads. In the past, many of those stopped and found to be a bit impaired would be driven home and let off with a warning.
After an arrest, you must be arraigned before you can be bailed out. However, in some locations, those charged with DUI are released within a day or so (if they are sober) and given paperwork to return to court. If you are to be arraigned, here is what to expect.
What Happens During an Arraignment?
An arraignment will be brief, but several topics are covered. The below provides a general idea of what to expect at your arraignment although things can vary from place to place.
You are officially informed of your charges. DUI charges are known under several names. In most cases, you can expect to be charged with a misdemeanor unless the charges are elevated to a felony. That usually follows special circumstances like having a minor in the vehicle, being involved in an accident, and other accompanying crimes.
Most of the time, you are asked to enter a preliminary plea. It's known as preliminary because you can always change your plea later. If you had a criminal defense lawyer advising you, you would be told to plead not guilty at the arraignment. That plea is to be expected and is very common.
If you are not represented by a lawyer, you may be asked if you think you can +afford one. If you cannot, you must fill out some paperwork pledging that you don't have the financial resources to afford a lawyer. This document refers you to the public defender's office. While you can get legal help from the public defender, you may not get the personalized attention and help you would with a private attorney.
Almost all DUI arrests result in bail. Bail allows defendants to be released from jail after paying a sum of money. Bail also comes with rules to follow. Bail is meant to secure your release until you return for your court hearings and other judicial events.
Once out on bail, turn your attention to securing a lawyer to help you with your DUI charge.
Consult a DUI lawyer today to learn more.