When you have been arrested for drunk driving, you will face an arraignment shortly thereafter; generally, within three business days if you are in custody and within two months if you are out of custody. Currently, Vista DUI rules require everyone arrested on a first time misdemeanor charge to post $2,500 bail or remain in custody pending arraignment. Bail can be posted by putting all of the money up yourself, which is called cash bail, or by going to a bondsmen who will charge up to 10% of the total bail amount.
During the arraignment, you and your attorney will hear the charges being brought against you and the evidence the prosecution has against you, which will usually include the results of your blood or breath test, the results of any preliminary screening tests and the officer’s written report.
At this time, the prosecution may choose not to file charges against you if they do not feel there is enough evidence against you or if they have not received the police or toxicology reports. While this means you must be released immediately, it also means they can bring up charges against you at a later date -up to a year later for a misdemeanor DUI offense.
If charges are filed, your Vista DUI lawyer will enter a guilty or non-guilty plea on your behalf, take copies of the evidence against you and he may argue that the charges against you should be reduced or dropped. If you are still in custody, he may also argue that you should be released based on your own recognizance or that the bail should be reduced.
If you do not wish to attend the arraignment, your lawyer can go without you in most misdemeanor DUI cases. If you are facing felony drunk driving charges, you must attend the arraignment in person.
The arraignment is a very important step in the criminal DUI proceedings as it provides your Vista DUI lawyers with the evidence that will be used against you in trial. This will provide them the opportunity to develop the strongest possible case for your defense. In some cases, there may be discrepancies in the evidence, questions about the reliability of the blood or breath testing equipment or issues with the police reports and the officer’s statements. If there are any issues with the evidence, you can rest assured that Peter M. Liss will do whatever he can to erode the prosecution’s case against you.
If you have been charged with drunk driving, please call our offices at (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free consultation.
Creative Commons Image courtesy of Oregon DOT