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Montgomery County DUI Arraignments

An arraignment is an opportunity for a defendant in a Montgomery County DUI case to become aware of the charges against them and be advised of their right to counsel. The individual is made aware of their rights and asked whether they want to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty to the charges alleged against them.

Before Arraignment

In the time between a person’s DUI arrest and their arraignment, they may have a hearing on bond to determine if they are released pending their arraignment or whether they maintain status at the jail as an inmate. Bond hearings usually happen shortly after somebody is taken into custody.

At maximum, an arraignment in Montgomery County usually takes place within a day or so, unless it is a weekend or a holiday. There is not an opportunity for much progress on a case between the time of an arrest and the time the arraignment takes place.

DUI Arraignment Process

There is usually not an “arraignment” for DUI charges. An arraignment is renamed as an “initial appearance” for DUI charges, where an inquiry into whether or not a person retained counsel is made. They are informed of the charges alleged against them and the maximum penalties for those charges.

A person must appear at their arraignment to be properly advised of their rights and informed about their charges. The judge has an opportunity to make sure they are aware of those important factors.

Attorney’s Role

The role of an attorney during the Montgomery County arraignment process is to inform the court that they are on the case. They select court dates for the case and gather information to explain to their client exactly what they are charged with. The attorney also begins strategizing how to respond to those charges when the matter comes to court.

Bail

It is unusual that a case gets to the point of bail for a DUI unless it is a person’s fourth or fifth offense. First, second, and third-time offenders are usually released on their own recognizance by the police officer because DUI charges are considered misdemeanors. It is usually not necessary for a person to be held and for a bail hearing to formally take place.

Things to Keep in Mind

People should be aware that they need to retain counsel to explain their rights when they face a DUI charge in Montgomery County. If they retain counsel, the initial appearance is not necessary and does not take place. Retaining counsel quickly is best because it ensures the lawyer has an adequate amount of time to request evidence and discovery. An attorney can evaluate the case properly to prepare a defense on their client’s behalf.

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