In some jurisdictions you will be required to see a judge before they will release you from custody. In others they will give you a date that you must appear for your arraignment and in others still you will leave the police station with very little information and a promise that you will get something in the mail. In any of these cases it is in your best interest to contact a Washington DUI lawyer immediately so that your rights will be protected and to ensure that you are taking the right steps to assist in your DUI defense.
In most cases and in most jurisdictions, the first hearing that you will attend is your arraignment. This is an opportunity for the court to make certain that you understand the charges that you will be facing. It does this by reading a document called a “Complaint.” Sometimes they will also consider the Officer’s “Statement of Probable Cause.” Once you are advised of the charge, you will be asked to make your plea. It is imperative that you enter a plea of “Not Guilty”. To do otherwise would mean being convicted of DUI and suffering all of the mandatory penalties, without recourse. The court can not and will not deviate from the statutory mandatory penalties unless it intends to sentence you to above to mandatory minimums. After the plea, the judge will take the opportunity to order conditions of release and you will receive your next court date.
The intent behind conditions of release is to guarantee the safety of the community and to ensure your return for future hearings. The judge will consider your criminal history, the allegations about your charge including your breath test result, and the efforts that you have made to demonstrate that you do not pose a risk to the community or a risk of flight.
- It is possible that your conditions may include all or some of the following:
- Bail or electronic home monitoring in lieu of bail
- A prohibition against consuming alcohol
- Installation of an ignition interlock device in any vehicle that you drive
- Requirement to wear an alcohol sensing band that reports results to a monitor
- Requirement that you not drive without a valid license and insurance
- Requirement that you not refuse a lawfully requested breath or blood test
- Requirement that you not drive after consuming any alcohol
- Requirement that you only engage in law abiding behavior
The conditions of each court vary and it is essential that you are prepared for what may be required of you by the judge at your arraignment. Because we practice in all jurisdictions we can help you be ready for what your court may require of you. Prior to your arraignment, visit our Where Were You Arrested? section and call to speak with one of our Washington DUI lawyers as soon as possible.