Many citizens that are arrested for driving under the influence have never had a criminal case in court. And because they have no experience in the courtroom, they don’t understand how the process works. They find the time following their DUI arrest to be confusing, lonely and scary. To help you better come to terms with what you are facing, you should contact a qualified defense attorney. But remember, if you cannot afford an attorney you still have the right to one and this will be better explained during the days following your arrest. This leads us to the DUI arraignment.
Your Introduction To The Court System
Even though our courts are busy with pending cases, you have the right to a speedy arraignment. After your DUI arrest, you should be arraigned within just a few days. This will help alleviate the mounting stress and confusion of the charges against you.
The arraignment is your first glimpse at a judge and the courtroom. The role of the judge is to officially state the charges that the government has against you. After reading the charges against you, the judge will explain that you have the right to an attorney if you cannot afford one. If you have an attorney, the judge will move on. If you do not, but would like one, the court will appoint a criminal defense attorney to represent you. An appointed criminal defense attorney is obligated by law to adequately represent you to the best of his or her abilities in order to ensure a fair trial.
Announcing Your Plea
When the judge reads the charges against you, you can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest if you were charged with a misdemeanor. You will then proceed on to a county trial if the charges are not dropped. Since a felony charge is more serious, you will proceed to a preliminary hearing if the charges are not dropped.
Another important aspect to the arraignment process is lowering or raising the bail. Bail is the amount of money required to release you from jail. Having your attorney present is of great help because your attorney can request that you be released based on your own personal recognizance. This means that you are aware that you must appear in criminal court on determined dates.
To find out more about the arraignment process, contact a DUI defense attorney.
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