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The DUI Case: the DUI Arraignment

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Phoenix, then you will be officially charged with this offense in an arraignment, which is a preliminary court hearing. After hearing your charge at the hearing, you will have to enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty (or no contest). This is also where bail could be set, where prior charges are heard, and where you could request a jury trial. Here is a more in-depth look at this process and your options.

  • First of all, if you have been charged with a DUI before, then you will also have your previous DUI charges read to you at the arraignment. You should deny these charges, and can do so legally. That way a DUI attorney can have these prior charges or convictions invalidated at a later date, so that they cannot affect your sentencing. Of course, there is the current DUI charge as well, to which you must enter a plea. Be sure to consult a lawyer about this decision.
  • If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, then you may be released on your own recognizance. This means that you would be released without having to pay bail, but you would have to abide by certain restrictions.
  • As previously mentioned, this could also be the time to ask for your right to a jury trial, or to decline it. Would you rather ask for a jury trial or waive this right to present your case solely to a judge? Generally speaking, a jury trial is the way to go. But if your case is full of legal technicalities, this may be something that you want only a judge to be addressing.

What plea you should enter, and whether or not you want a jury trial is something you must discuss with a DUI lawyer before your arraignment. How you handle a DUI charge—at any point of the case—can have lasting repercussions on your future. A DUI conviction could not only mean that you get a jail or prison sentence, but this would be a stain on your personal record, one that goes with you into every job interview and housing application.

If your case is going to go to trial, either before a judge or jury, you need to have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side, one who is able to defend your freedom and reputation. When you need this powerful defense, contact the Law Offices of Joshua S. Davidson, PLC. You could have a former prosecutor on your side who knows exactly what you will be up against, and how to mount an aggressive defense. Call our firm today for a free consultation!