What Is a DUI Arraignment?
A DUI Arraignment represents the first actual courtroom appearance after arrest and booking for the suspect. During the arraignment proceedings the charged suspect is called into criminal court by a judge who does the following:
- Reads the charges against the defendant
- Inquires whether the defendant has an attorney or needs one appointed to him
- Asks how the defendant pleads to the charges (i.e. guilty, not guilty, or no contest)
- Decides on the bail amount whether addressed in prior proceedings or not
- Decides on future court dates for further proceedings related to the case
- Hands over to the defendant's attorney, if he or she has one, copies of police reports, results of chemical tests, and/or results of blood tests taken from the suspect at time of arrest
What Rights Do I Have to a Lawyer during the Arraignment Process?
If the crime committed is serious enough and the defendant faces the possibility of serious jail time if convicted you have a constitutional right to an attorney during the court process. Police departments and judges everywhere are very aware of this right, and should immediately spring to action when a request for counsel is made by a DUI suspect. Even if the suspect cannot afford an attorney one should be appointed to him at no cost.
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Last Modified: 03-31-2011 04:21 PM PDT
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