You have the right to hear the charges brought against you read in open court.  You have the right to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest.  For most purposes, you will have already hired a lawyer who will say not guilty for you.  The plea can later be changed if the prosecutor offers you a plea deal.  Your lawyer can often arrange for you to not have to appear at the arraignment.  Issues that you will need to appear for are addressing the release of an impounded car, driving privileges, and defects in the administrative license suspension or ticket.

Some judges will stay an administrative license suspension at arraignment if your lawyer is able to articulate a defect in the paperwork.  This means that you will not have to wait for privileges.  Usually, there is a waiting period on privileges of 15 days from the ticket date on a first-time test over the limit and 30 days for a refusal.  This is often referred to as the hard suspension time.

If your lawyer waives your presence it will not prejudice your case.  It is important to get a lawyer involved so that you are protected right away.  If your car is impounded for a DUI or OVI arrest, the court can keep it until the case is over before releasing it if you fail to appear and request the release of the car at the arraignment.  This is significant because the towing company can charge about $3000 to keep it for 90 days.

Most lawyers will not even appear at the arraignment if they have reviewed the facts of your case and determined that you will not need to be there.  They can often notify the court by fax or in writing that you are now represented by a lawyer.  They will pick a pretrial date.  This will often be when you can ask for privileges.

What Should I Expect at My First Arraignment?

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Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers
130 W 2nd St #310
Dayton, OH 45402

(937) 531-0435

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