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Preparing for a DC DUI Court Date

When someone is arrested in the District of Columbia, they are held and taken to court within one to two business days, taken to court the next morning, or at the longest, the morning thereafter depending on the time the individual is arrested.

More often in a misdemeanor case like a DUI, a person could be released from the police station and given a citation for a DUI case. The person who is given the citation and is told the date and place in the DC Superior Court for their appearance in court. In order to best prepare for your DC DUI court date, you should contact an experienced DUI attorney who can help you understand all of the necessary information and preparation.

How Can an Individual Find Their Court Information?

A person can find the time and place of their DC DUI court date on the citation they are issued. It is important to keep the citation because the person signed the citation. If they do not show up at the date, time, and location as indicated on the citation, the authorities send a warrant for the person’s arrest. The police find and arrest the person and take them into custody until they can see the judge.

When a person is cited by the police and told to come back to court, the person should keep that paperwork. If they lose the citation, the next best solution is to contact an attorney because a DUI defense attorney in DC can find information concerning the person and their court date and help them prepare. They know who to call at the court and where to look online for that information.


A person can go online to the DC Superior Court and look up information about a case based on name or case number. If the person has just been arrested, there can be a delay before the information is entered into the court database when the person is given a citation. In other words, if a person is arrested on January 1st, the police officers turn over their information to the prosecutors sometime within the week. The prosecutors get to that in a couple of days before the person’s court date which is why the person’s initial court date is an arraignment set out about three weeks the person’s arrest. The time delay gives everyone a chance to turn in the necessary paperwork.

Should a Person Keep a Record of their Court Date?

A person can check online in the DC Superior Court or they can go to the court to get necessary information and paperwork. Calling the courthouse is usually not the best idea because the person can spend a great deal of time trying to get to the right person. They can go to the courthouse and look into the information to determine if there is a pending case and if so, when and where the next DC DUI court date is.

The best way to keep track of court dates and prepare for a court date for a DC DUI is to keep any paperwork received from law enforcement or the courts. Those documents will have the next court date. A person should talk to a criminal defense attorney who practices in DC.

Important Considerations

A good way for a person to prepare for a DC DUI court date is to make sure that they are drug and alcohol-free if there is a possibility of being subjected to drug testing. The person should be well-groomed and dressed appropriately.

To prepare for court, the person should work out any transportation issues ahead of time, make sure they arrive on time, know exactly where they are going, and dress and behave seriously. A court respects those who show respect. The judge wants to see that. The person makes a good impression when they are dressed suitably, are well-groomed, arrive on time, have the necessary paperwork, and make sure that everything is ready to go so there are no surprises. Getting help from a DUI attorney is essential when preparing for a DC DUI court date.

Working with a Lawyer

At the initial court date in DC for a DUI case, the individual is required to give a urine sample for drug testing. Every client should know this before coming to court. They are required to confirm their address so they should bring in documentation that proves their legal address.

A lawyer should tell their client exactly what to expect at the court date. At the initial court date, the court sets the release conditions for a misdemeanor where the person is released on citation by the police. In most circumstances, a person should not expect to be taken into custody at the court date, unless there are circumstances that change the situation. For example, the police officer did not know that that person was already on probation or has other pending cases.

The lawyer and client should discuss the circumstances of the arrest, the charges, what took place, the client’s next court date, and whether there is any criminal history, other active cases, probation, or parole. Those are very important factors that an attorney needs to discuss with their clients so that their client knows the possible procedures and outcomes of their next court date.

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