Prince William County DUI Arraignments
A person’s initial appearance in DUI court is typically a hearing called an arraignment, which is held soon after the individual received their DUI charge. At Prince William County DUI arraignments, the court will set the trial date. The person will also be advised about their right to hire an attorney, represent themselves, or have a court-appointed attorney if they do not have enough money to hire a private lawyer. If a person is interested in a court-appointed attorney, they will have to fill out a financial indigency statement in order to apply for one, which may or may not be granted at the discretion of the court based on pre-established poverty-level guidelines.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you should reach out to an accomplished lawyer. A dedicated DUI lawyer could help you prepare for an arraignment and help you understand your rights.
When and Where Do Arraignments Happen?
A Prince William County DUI arraignment tends to be set within a few days to a couple of weeks after the date of the arrest. It is almost always scheduled to be on the first-morning docket available to the court at 8:30 or 9:00 a.m.
Prince William County DUI arraignments take place in whatever court will be setting the next court dates for the case. People under the age of 18 will have their arraignment in Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court on the first floor of the courthouse. Individuals over 18 will have their arraignment in the General District Court on the second floor of the courthouse.
Parties Involved in DUI Arraignments
The only parties who are required to be present at arraignment are a judge, a courtroom clerk, and the defendant. Witnesses, police officers, prosecutors, and defense attorneys are not required at arraignments. However, a person’s lawyer can appear at the arraignment with them.
The role of the judge who presides over the initial appearance is to make sure that the defendant minimally understands the nature and quantity of the charges against them, to advise the defendant of their right to be represented by counsel versus representing themself, and to select a suitable trial date based on the availability of necessary witnesses and the court’s preexisting trial schedules. The judge who conducts an arraignment is a random assignment, and does not mean that the same judge will preside over the remainder of the case.
Will a Bond Hearing Take Place at a Prince William County DUI Arraignment?
Bond hearings are different than arraignments. At an arraignment, a person will sometimes appear in custody because they have not yet been afforded a bond hearing. A bond hearing can sometimes be scheduled at arraignment as well, in addition to the trial date.
A Lawyer Could Help a Defendant Prepare for an Arraignment
To learn more about Prince William County DUI arraignments and how a lawyer could help you, call today. An attorney could ensure that your rights are being protected. Also, a lawyer could help you prepare for your initial court appearance.