Your first hearing will be your arraignment. You'll be advised of the maximum penalty (364 days in jail and a $5000 fine) and the mandatory minimums (including 1 day in jail and $350 fines, license suspensions, and more). The judge will ask you to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. You should plead not guilty and have a pretrial date set. You should also consult with a DUI attorney immediately. Feel free to call me for your FREE CONSULTATION at 425-424-9401.
Every case is different, and this is not intended to be anything other than helpful information. This in no way creates an attorney-client relationship between us. If you'd like to speak further about this answer, feel free to call me for your FREE CONSULTATION at 425-424-9401.
You are facing criminal charges. You need a criminal attorney. If you cannot afford one, the court will appoint one for you at the arraignment.
Your state and county bar associations can assist you with referrals.
The foregoing is for general information purposes and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
The arraignment is where you will be formally charged by the District Attorney with DUI. It is the beginning of the court process.
Hire a private attorney and prepare your defense.
I agree you should consult with an experienced DUI defense lawyer immediately. A BAC of .09 may be within the margin of error for the machine used to test your breath. There are many other factors which may be important in defending this DUI charge. Please consult with a lawyer familiar with the limitations of the machine used to test your breath. Good luck.
The arraignment is the process where you are formally charged with a crime, told of your rights, and asked to enter a plea. For people never involved with the court process, it can be extremely confusing. You will be in a room with a lot of other people who may also be confused or agitated. Prepare to do some waiting.
There will likely be a public defender there although he or she will not have a whole lot of time to spend with you. That's alright because you won't need too much. There may be some subtle pressure to enter a plea of guilty at the arraignment. DON'T DO IT. When asked by anyone, tell them you are entering a plea of Not Guilty, and that you want to get a lawyer. That's all you need to remember. Don't talk about the facts of the case, don't tell them you want to avoid jail time, nothing else. This is the best and only way to protect your rights at the arraignment.
One other thing that may happen is a discussion about bail. Bail is simply an amount of money to secure your appearance at future court dates. Unless your DUI was really significant, i.e. multi-car accident, you should be released without paying bail. However the public defender there may ask you some questions about your job and home life, which you should answer. Eventually you'll be given a new court date (keep the paper) and then you'll be done.
The tough part is after the arraignment. You're in the criminal process now and, needless to say, you need a lawyer as soon as possible. I work with DUIs regularly, but there are lots of experienced attorneys on Avvo to contact. Call a few and see who you want to work with. This is definitely something you need to stay on top of because the penalties for a DUI are serious. But if you get an attorney and work with them on the case, you should end up alright. Good luck!
If and until you and I sign an Agreement for Legal Services, I am not your attorney. These answers are provided for informational and/or novelty purposes.
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