DWI Court: What to expect. - Tessmer Law Firm
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DWI Court: What to expect.

DWI Fact #6: What can you expect at court?


The initial court appearance is called an arraignment. At the arraignment, the judge may advise you of the charges and of certain rights that you have because you have been charged with a crime. Your lawyer may get an opportunity to look at the State’s file and at the police offense report to determine what the police claim that you did.


It is very important that you not wait for the first court appearance to seek legal advice and to hire a lawyer. Valuable rights and evidence that will affect the ability to defend the DWI case may be lost by waiting months or even weeks. Competent lawyers will seldom advise a client to plead guilty and accept a plea bargain at this initial arraignment since there is usually a great deal of work to be done in investigating the case and preparing possible defenses. Thus, you should expect that you will leave your first court appearance with a new date to return to court.


After arraignment, you may have additional court appearances depending on how your case progresses. These court settings have different names depending on the county and the court. Some common names include “Non Issue,” “Announcement,” “Plea,” and “Disposition.” Regardless of the name, these settings are additional opportunities for your lawyer and the prosecutor to discuss the case, for your lawyer to talk to the judge (if necessary) about the case, and for your lawyer to otherwise continue to develop the facts and law relevant to your case.