DUI Arraignment - FAQs
What is an arraignment?
This is the date on your ticket. It is
mandatory that you appear in court. The first appearance, the arraignment, is primarily
for advisement of your rights under Washington State DUI laws, and your
opportunity to declare “not guilty”. If you have an attorney,
that attorney will advise you of the proper procedures.
What happens at the arraignment?
The arraignment is your opportunity to enter a plea of NOT guilty and then
ask for a jury trial. The court will impose some conditions as a condition
for your release. These conditions may include:
- No further criminal law violations.
- A promise to appear at a future court date.
- A promise to not possess or consume alcohol, or even an order by the court
to not appear in any locations that serve alcohol.
- An order to install an ignition interlock.
- A promise to drive only if properly licensed and insured.
- A promise to keep the court informed of any change in address.
- A promise to seek an attorney (if you don't want the assistance of
a public defender).
NOTE: if the judge deems you to be a threat to society or fears that you
may flee the area, you may be placed in custody at the arraignment. Contact
me in person at
(425) 422-5818 to discuss the possibility of being placed into custody at your arraignment.
Do I need an attorney at my arraignment?
In most cases, an experienced attorney will be able to guide you through
the arraignment with no problems. Each court conducts the arraignment
What do I need to do to prepare for my arraignment?
If you have had some time since the violation date, it may be important
to have an alcohol consultation to hand to the court. This is not always
necessary, and procuring a consultation without an attorney may be counterproductive.
Call me at (425) 422-5818 to talk about a consultation in your case and
where I suggest you go for your consultation.
What should I plead at the arraignment?
99% of the time you should enter a plea of NOT guilty. Even if you change
your mind at a later time, the court will most likely not hold the earlier
plea against you. The penalties for DUI are severe and the court understands.
The court wants you to talk to an attorney and they want you to understand
exactly what you are doing.
I was drunk, should I just plead guilty at the arraignment?
Again, the penalties are severe for DUI. Even on cases where you think
there is no hope, there may be hope. Do NOT plead guilty for convenience.