If you are facing charges of driving under the influence in DC the first time you are likely to appear in court is for your arraignment where the charges against you will be presented, and you will make your initial plea to a judge. Below a DC DUI arraignment lawyer discusses the various types of pleas you can make and how each will impact the progression of your case.
For more information on pleas or what you should expect from a DUI arraignment, call and schedule a free initial consultation today. A DUI lawyer can help advise you on what you should know ahead of your arraignment date and inform you of all the legal options at your disposal.
At a DUI arraignment, a defendant would be asked to enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty. The defendant would not be required to make that statement on their own, but rather they would do it through their lawyer. At an arraignment, a defendant will always plead not guilty.
A guilty plea would result in a person acknowledging that a crime was committed and that the defendant was the one who committed the crime. The case would then be scheduled for a sentencing hearing, at which point a judge will decide what the appropriate penalties are based on the person’s criminal history, the facts of the case, and any arguments from the defense attorney and the prosecution.
After a not guilty plea at the arraignment hearing, the case could be set for additional hearings to decide how the case will proceed. The case could either proceed through negotiations that could result in a person ultimately pleading guilty at a later date, or could be scheduled for a trial.
A person will always enter a plea of not guilty at the arraignment date. There is no benefit to entering a plea of guilty at arraignment because at that point you are pretty much pleading guilty in the dark, without knowledge of what the prosecution’s evidence is. You would not receive the benefit of negotiations with the prosecutor and you would give up the opportunity for your lawyer to advocate for the most favorable possible resolution.
Pleading not guilty does not necessarily mean that the case will proceed to trial. It simply means that the case will proceed through negotiations and a person has the option of taking the case to a trial at a later date.
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