What to Expect After a DUI Arrest
If you are cited with DUI following your arrest, you will be required to appear before a judge on the next judicial day. In Whitman County, those mandatory first appearances are held at 4:00 p.m. in the District Court.
The purpose of your first appearance is threefold:
- Determination of Probable Cause: The judge will determine whether there is probable cause to believe that you committed the crime of DUI.
- Entry of a Pretrial Release Order: If probable cause is found, the judge will impose some pretrial release conditions. Your release will depend on your compliance with these conditions. These conditions often involve the posting of bail or bond, an order that you not consume or possess alcohol or other controlled substances, and an order that you not drive without a valid license or insurance.
- Advisement of Rights: The judge will advise you of the charge(s) and your rights. If you cannot afford a private defense attorney, you will be given the opportunity to apply for court-appointed counsel at this first appearance.
Your arraignment will be scheduled following your first appearance. At your arraignment, the judge will ask you to enter a plea: either “guilty” or “not guilty.” If you plead not guilty, the judge will schedule a “Mandatory Pretrial Hearing” to give you time to attempt to settle your case with the State and to resolve any other pretrial issues.
You should not enter a plea of guilty before speaking with an experienced Washington DUI Attorney. If your case is scheduled for Arraignment, call Luke Baumgarten for a free consultation prior to that hearing.
At this hearing, you may either change your plea to guilty, you may ask the judge to set your matter for trial, you may ask the judge to set your matter for a contested motion hearing, or you may simply ask the judge to continue (reschedule) your Mandatory Pre-trial hearing for another date.
Change of Plea / Sentencing or Trial
If, at any time, you decide to change your plea from “not guilty” to “guilty,” you will enter your plea in open court and you will be sentenced at the same time. Before deciding to plead guilty in a DUI case, it is important that you speak with an experienced Washington DUI attorney.
If you decide to exercise your right to a trial, you will be requiring the State to prove each element of its case beyond a reasonable doubt. This often forfeits the deal made by the prosecution.
To put us on your side for your DUI charge, call our offices today at (509) 593-4370.