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Arraignment and Bond in Annapolis DUI Cases

An arraignment is an opportunity similar to the initial court appearance. A judge outlines the charges alleged against the defendant and verifies their plea (guilty or not guilty). A judge will also advise the defendant on the importance and right to counsel if they have not retained counsel already. Occasionally, further hearing dates are set on the case.

Bonds are conditions of release. Usually, when a person is arrested, if there are concerns about that person’s return to court or their potential as a flight risk, the commissioner or the judge who reviews the person’s case may determine that a bond must be paid before their release. A bond is usually an amount of money that must be paid to secure a person’s release. If the person pays that money and returns for their court date, they get all of that money back. However, that money could be forfeited in the court system as a penalty for not appearing back in court.

If you have not yet contacted a DUI attorney regarding your Annapolis case, it is important to do so immediately so they may assist in the arraignment and bond release process. Without the assistance of an attorney, you may spend more time in jail waiting for your bond to be posted.

The Arraignment Process

A person does not always need to appear at their arraignment. Sometimes, an attorney can advise the court that they have been retained, an arraignment is no longer necessary, and a not guilty plea will be entered by default.

If the accused has not retained counsel, they must appear at their arraignment because the court wants to make sure they are aware of the charges alleged against them. If the accused appears at the arraignment without counsel and expressly waives the arraignment, it could result in a warrant issued for their arrest and any outstanding bond would be forfeited.

The time between the DUI arrest and the arraignment is an opportunity for the defendant to meet with their attorney, ensuring they have retained counsel, and to tell the attorney everything they know about the case. Usually, the process of discovery does not begin until after the arraignment occurs due to the short amount of time between a charge and the arraignment hearing.

The Bond Process

A judge determining the bond amount and conditions of release, takes many factors into consideration. These factors include the defendant’s criminal history, the nature of the offense, a history of failing to appear before the court, and their connections to the community. These factors assist the judge in determining whether the person is a risk to themselves, to the community, or risk of flight and might not return for their court appearance.

Bonds can be posted by a person bringing the required funds to the court or jail to secure a the defendant’s release. Sometimes, a person’s property can be used to secure somebody’s release when the value of the property can be demonstrated.

Another option is a bail bond, in which an independent party posts a certain amount of bond on the defendant’s behalf. The independent party is paid a fee by the defendant to obtain the money if they do not have the full amount of the bond that was set by the court.

Documents Received

When a person is released from jail for a DUI in Annapolis, they usually receive all of the charging documents associated with their case, including the citations, and sometimes, a report or a statement of probable cause that explains the police officer’s investigation. Many times in Annapolis DUI cases, the report itself is not given to the person as they leave the station, but provided at a later date to their attorney. If a breathalyzer test was conducted, the results will be provided. As well as documents discussing procedures or next steps on how to respond to Motor Vehicle Administration inquiries regarding the potential suspension of a driving privilege.