No one starts the night expecting to get arrested for a DUI in Oregon. After an arrest, you can expect a brief, likely overnight stay in jail and then you’re free to go. If this is your first DUI offense, you may not know what to expect in court during DUI hearing proceedings. After your arrest, you’ll either get your court date, place and time on the officer’s citation or from the jail’s release agreement. This first appearance is called an arraignment and it is when you are officially charged with a crime. This isn’t a trial and you won’t be expected to speak except to enter a plea of “not guilty.”
Your DUI arraignment typically occurs either the next day or within a few days, though it could possibly be up to a month later. The purpose of the arraignment is to ensure the court has gotten your identity correct. The judge confirms the spelling of your name, your date of birth and they give you your next court date.
When your name is called, if you have a DUI attorney, they will approach the bench and receive a copy of your charges. You or your attorney will enter a plea of “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “no contest.” You must attend your arraignment unless your DUI attorney tells you otherwise. Failure to appear could result in a warrant for your arrest. You must either be present or have legal representation, otherwise, you will face additional penalties and criminal charges.
Next, your DUI attorney will request to receive a copy of all of the evidence against you. This is called the “Discovery” process. Documents include the police report, results from the lab or breathalyzer tests and notes from the field sobriety test if you took one. Your DUI attorney will review all of the evidence and determine if the police followed the correct procedures, whether your rights were respected or violated, and your best options moving forward.
Preliminary DUI Hearings
After pleading “not guilty,” your next court date will be your preliminary DUI hearing where the state prosecutor must convince the judge that it is probable to find you guilty. If the state can’t bring enough evidence against you to determine it probable, the care will be dismissed. If the judge decides to bring your case to trial, you can be tried to a judge alone or to a jury. If your case goes to trial, it will include opening statements, witnesses and closing arguments.
Tips for Your Court Appearance
- Dress conservatively — A neatly pressed suit and clean footwear or a professional button-down shirt and tie for males. A suit or dress pants and a blouse or a conservative-length skirt for females.
- Don’t bring food, drink or chewing gum into the courtroom.
- Be on-time or early, don’t be late for your court date.
- Address the judge as “Your Honor” and maintain a polite tone when speaking.
Hire a DUI Attorney Before Your Arraignment
Give yourself the best advantage in your DUI defense by hiring an experienced and affordable DUI attorney in Bend, Oregon. Nelson Law can help you throughout the entire DUI hearing process. Contact Nelson Law for a free DUI consultation before your arraignment and DUI hearings.