What Will Happen at Your DUI Arraignment in Arizona?

dui arraignmentIf you have been charged with a DUI, you are probably very afraid and nervous. If you have never been through the court system in Arizona, you should be scared and nervous. A DUI is a little different from a traffic ticket. First of all, it is a criminal charge. Second, it follows the same process as any other criminal charge.

When you are charged with a DUI in Arizona, a few things happen. First you are arrested. Then you will be booked on a DUI charge. Your license will be scheduled to be suspended 15 days from the date of the arrest. You will be given a court date. At this court date, or first appearance, you will have an arraignment.

What is an Arraignment?

The main purpose of an arraignment is for you to let the court know how you are going to plead. Basically, you will plea either guilty or not-guilty. In a DUI case in Arizona, you should never plead guilty without first meeting with a criminal defense attorney. The consequences for a DUI are not going to be lower just because you plead guilty rather than be found guilty later.

At the arraignment, the Judge will read the charges against you. If you have charges other than the DUI, they will be read during this hearing as well. The Judge will also read the possible penalties and punishments associated with the DUI charge.

How Can Having an Attorney Help Me During an Arraignment?

Having an attorney by your side during a DUI makes all the difference. Not only will you feel less alone and nervous, but you will increase your chances of obtaining a better outcome. DUI lawyers know how an arraignment works. They have been to court every week for these types of cases and are familiar with the process.

Your attorney will also be able to guide you on whether you should plead guilty or not guilty. Unless the prosecutor has a very solid case, your attorney is not going to advise you to plead guilty. However, if your lawyer has already spoken with the prosecutor and has negotiated a plea of some sort, this is a different story.

Click here to find out how long does it take to get through a DUI case in Arizona.

What Happens at the Hearing?

In addition to entering your plea, the court will confirm your personal information at the arraignment hearing. The court will verify your name, address and location informatio. They will also let you know what the charges and penalties are that you are facing. Finally, they will confirm your intentions as to whether or not to hire a lawyer.

Failure to Appear at an Arraignment for DUI in Arizona

Whatever you do, you don’t want to miss your arraignment hearing. It doesn’t matter what the reason is, if you miss your arraignment hearing, the judge is not going to be happy. There would have to be very compelling circumstances to ever justify a failure to appear.

If you don’t show up to your arraignment, a warrant will be issues against you. This means if you are stopped by the police, they will have to arrest you for the warrant. You don’t want to compound your legal troubles with something like this. A DUI lawyer will make sure you appear and he will be there with you.