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What happens after a DUI arrest?

Dale Gribow Sept. 4, 2015

On this blog, we have discussed DUI stops and arrests. But what happens after the arrest? Many Palm Desert residents who get arrested for a DUI have never been involved in a criminal case before. It is in your best interest to learn about the court process and the penalties so that you can be prepared for what potentially lies ahead.

A significant part of most DUI cases is the arraignment. In many cases, if you are accused of a DUI and plead guilty, the arraignment will be the only time you will be in court. However, this will depend on the evidence in the case. The arraignment will occur after the arrest, booking and initial bail phases of the DUI process. The U.S. Constitution grants you a right to a speedy trial. Therefore, your arraignment should be held within a few days of the arrest.

The arraignment involves the DUI suspect coming to court and being called in front of a judge. The judge will typically read the criminal charges against the suspect, who will be referred to as the defendant. The defendant has a constitutional right to an attorney if he faces the possibility of jail time. Therefore, the defendant will be asked if he has an attorney or if he would like one appointed to him by the court.

At this point, the defendant will be asked how he pleads to the charges. He can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. The judge will then determine whether to release the defendant on his own recognizance or change the bail amount. The preliminary hearing and trial dates will be announced, though many cases are settled before that point. During the arraignment, the prosecutor will typically give any police reports, possible evidence, and other relevant documentation to the defendant and his attorney. The defendant’s attorney will look over all of the evidence and formulate a strategy considering what is in the best interest of their client.