Individuals who are taken into custody for drunk driving will likely need to attend an initial court hearing. This proceeding is referred to as an arraignment, during which an individual will hear exactly what he or she has been charged with. The judge will also give a defendant the opportunity to ask for legal counsel as well as enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest.
It is important to note that defendants are entitled to legal counsel in any case in which they could face jail time if convicted. It is also possible that a judge will adjust the amount of bail that must be paid to secure the defendant’s release. In some cases, an individual may be freed on his or her own recognizance. If a person enters a guilty plea, the arraignment may be the only court appearance that he or she has to make.
However, if future court dates are necessary, the judge will announce them during the arraignment. Typically, the arraignment will happen hours or days after a person is taken into custody and processed at a local jail. A defendant’s attorney will get copies of any evidence that the prosecution has or intends to use in the case against that individual.
A person who is charged with DUI may face significant penalties if convicted on the charge. These penalties may include probation, jail time and a fine, and an individual may also be subject to a temporary or permanent loss of driving privileges. In some cases, a DUI conviction might make it harder to get into college or find a job. An attorney may cast doubt on chemical test results in an effort to get a case dismissed or an impaired driving charge reduced.