You were arrested and charged with a DUI, and now you have more questions than answers. Unless you’ve been in this situation before, you might not know what to expect or how the DUI arrest process works. You’re going to jail, and you’re probably spending at least one night there until you are released. Driving under the influence is not a small crime, and it’s not one any court of law takes lightly. You put the lives of everyone on the road with you at risk when you get behind the wheel of a car while under the influence.
The penalties for a DUI are serious no matter where you live, and that’s why you want to contact a criminal defense attorney to handle your case. If you haven’t the financial ability to hire an attorney, the court can appoint you an attorney free of charge. You should use your right to obtain an attorney so you don’t find yourself in more trouble by not understanding legal terminology in anything you sign or anything said to you. Your best case is to hire an attorney. Once you retain an attorney, you might wonder if there you must appear before a judge or allow your attorney to do so on your behalf.
You Don’t Have to Appear
There is no law stating you must appear at your arraignment or even some of the other smaller court dates you have if you are arrested for a DUI. You can have your attorney appear on your behalf. However, you should always appear if you have a trial and you are being called on the stand to testify. However, that’s a while away.
Once you are arrested and charged with a DUI, you must appear before a judge for something called an arraignment. This is when you enter your plea and the judge releases you pending further sentencing. You aren’t required to make an appearance at this court date if you have an attorney there on your behalf. If you are representing yourself without the help of an attorney, you must be present.
Always speak to your attorney about your appearance. Your attorney will give you the best advice for your specific case. If your attorney has no problem with you skipping any hearings because you can’t leave work or you don’t have the ability to be there, they will appear for you. You must be sure your attorney knows he or she needs to be at the courthouse, however. If no one appears on your behalf, you could be held in contempt of court and an arrest warrant is issued. Now your legal problems are larger and even more expensive.
It Might Be In Your Best Interest to Appear
You aren’t required to appear for all the hearings going on right now in your DUI case, but it might be in your best interest to show up for all of them. There is no legal reason to do so, but being present at each of your hearings can show the judge presiding over your case you are serious about it. If you are there for each hearing, it could give off the impression you take this seriously and want to rectify your situation rather than allow someone else to handle it for you while you continue to live your life.
You aren’t required to appear, but it might be a good idea to do that. Your attorney’s appearance is necessary if you hire him or her, but you do need to concern yourself with the fact that it’s for convenience. Whether you appear alongside your attorney or not, you must be in close contact with your attorney so you know what’s going on and how you’re going to deal with your case. Do you want to plead guilty or not guilty and take it to court?
Your attorney can fight for you, but you need to have a strong case. This involves spending ample time discussing the facets of the investigation with your attorney and working on what you are using as your defense. Your future rides on how you work through this and what you can say to your own defense.
The arresting officer is required to read you your rights, which includes the right to an attorney. This is the best time to take them up on that offer and call an attorney. Don’t say anything else that might be used against you in a court of law. It’s your job to enact your right, get your attorney, and go from there. Listen to your attorney’s advice, and do what you can to ensure you’re giving yourself the best possible chance to clear your name and get the best possible outcome.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Learn more about DUI by reading this wikipedia page.