When you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Virginia, you need to understand what happens in these criminal cases so that you know what to expect. Your first court hearing is usually an arraignment. Here, we explain what happens at an arraignment.
What Occurs at DUI Arraignments in Virginia
An arraignment can be conducted on the day of your arrest or a few days later. If you were released from jail on your own recognizance—your promise to return to all court hearings—or by posting bail, it is more likely that the hearing will be set at a later date. Your arraignment may be conducted by video conferencing if you are still in jail. At the hearing, the judge will do the following:
- Read the criminal charges to you.
- Ask you if you have retained an attorney and advise you of your right to a court-appointed lawyer if you cannot afford to pay for one. If you are requesting an attorney, the judge will most likely ask you questions about your financial situation before appointing one.
- Advise you of future court dates.
- In some cases where bail has not been set, the judge may set the amount of your bail. However, it is very rare to receive bond at your arraignment hearing. Therefore, it is important to retain an attorney as soon as possible so you receive a bond motion promptly.
It is best to retain an attorney as soon as possible after your arrest and have him attend the arraignment with you. In some cases, he may be able to file paperwork with the court advising of his representation so that you do not need to attend your arraignment.
Contact Us for Help
If you were arrested for DUI or DWI in Northern Virginia, our experienced DUI attorneys are here to build a strong defense to the charges you face so that they are dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. Call our Fairfax office or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation today.