What is an Arraignment & Why do you need a Lawyer before yours?
DUI Arraignment is a hearing where the State will formally announce exactly what charges it has filed against you. At your arraignment, you will be required to come before the court and enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty.
You will also receive a copy of the charges, list of witnesses, and other limited information about your case. This information is called initial discovery. In most cases, however, this will is only part of the evidence in your case. You or your lawyer will have to contact the prosecutor in order to arrange a time to copy the rest of the evidence in the case or ask that it be copied for you.
While the procedure for arraignment is not complicated, the arraignment can be stressful and the arraignment date is very significant.
First, unless you are excused by the Court or your lawyer has filed a motion waiving your arraignment, you must be present. Failure to come to your arraignment will result in a bench warrant for your arrest.
Second, courts require the defendant to file all motions in his or her case at arraignment or within 10 days of arraignment unless they allow otherwise. These motions are extremely important and can often determine the outcome of your case.
If you have already had your arraignment, it is very important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible.
However, hiring an attorney prior to arraignment is the best way to make sure that your rights are protected. Your attorney can also file a motion “waiving arraignment” so you do not have to come to court.
If you have received a notice that you are scheduled for your DUI arraignment, contact me at (770) 387-4529 for a free phone consultation.