Hampton Roads DUI Arraignments

An arraignment is where a person is brought in before court after they have been charged or arrested. At Hampton Roads DUI arraignments the accused is formally informed of the charge against them, often assisted by either the judge or the clerk reading the allegations on the warrant or the indictment.

When an arraignment is set usually varies by jurisdiction but it is typically within one to two weeks of the offense. If the individual is in custody it will be sooner than that. During that time period, a person will have an opportunity to seek out distinguished legal counsel for drunk driving cases.

The Commonwealth will be informed of the charge and will be able to start gathering evidence from the police officers involved. By the time a person gets to court they will be able to inform the judge about how they wish to proceed.

What Happens at an Arraignment for DUI Charges?

At any arraignment, a person will be informed of what the individual is charged with. Depending on the circumstances, the judge will decide to do a formal or informal reading of the chart of charges against a person. If it is a formal reading, they will read every word written for the charge, including someone’s date of birth, or anything that will use to identify them.

An informal reading is simply when the court states that someone is charged with a given offense. the court will say he or she has been charged with this offense. For DUI cases, the charge is called driving under the influence. In some places, a person will be expected to enter a plea. In circuit court, they usually will have the accused enter a formal plea of guilty or not guilty. If the person pleads not guilty they will set a trial date. After that is determined, the judge will inquire as to the person’s status regarding an attorney.

What is the Role of an Attorney During an Initial Appearance?

During Hampton Roads DUI arraignments, an attorney can do almost all of the talking for an individual. However, often times a person has not retained an attorney prior to their case. An attorney can enter a plea on behalf of the individual and let the court know that they have been retained as that person’s attorney. A lot of people are comfortable speaking in public or in front of the judge, so they can handle that and if there any questions about bond status the attorney is there if they address the court

Reasons to Appear at  DUI Arraignment

A person needs to appear at their arraignment because when a person is arrested and they are given a recognizance sheet with their court date on it, one of the conditions of bond is that the accused appears at any court date set. If someone fails to appear for Hampton Roads DUI arraignments, they may be considered in violation of the bond.

Some jurisdictions simply allow someone to set a trial date and not attend an arraignment. That is something that must be communicated with their attorney to ensure that a warrant does not end up being issued for their arrest.

Bail Expectations at an Initial Appearance

How high the judge will set bail in Hampton Roads DUI arraignments will depend on the details of someone’s case. Most DUIs will be an unsecured bond and for the most part people need to be local. If they are in the area and if their blood alcohol content was not extremely high, they will not be considered a flight risk or a danger to the community. If a person has a criminal record, such as past DUIs, or they have lived out-of-state, they could receive a secured bond.

In Hampton Roads, the high-end would probably be around $10,000 for secured bonds. Felony DUIs could involve a higher number. For most misdemeanor DUIs that would probably be what top end bonds could potentially be.