Arraignment Setting

In most counties, the initial court appearance is 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 the commission of a crime. At the initial court appearance, you 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. In some counties, the District or County Attorney will not allow their file to be examined and more formal discovery will be necessary. The initial court appearance may not occur for several months. 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 plea 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 defense. Thus, you should expect that you will leave your first court appearance with a new date to return to court.