Initial Appearance in Colonial Heights DUI Court

A person’s initial appearance in Colonial Heights DUI court is the arraignment. For misdemeanor DUI charges, this occurs in the Colonial Heights general district court within about one week of the summons or arrest. Generally, the parties in attendance are the person, their lawyer if they retained a lawyer, the Commonwealth attorney, and the judge.

Whether you are preparing for your initial appearance or have already been arraigned, you could benefit from the services of a competent DUI attorney. An experienced lawyer could present your case in the best possible light in order to fight for a positive outcome.

What Happens During Arraignment?

During the initial appearance in Colonial Heights DUI court the judge tells the accused what they are charged with and the maximum and minimum penalties of that charge. They also give them an opportunity to decide if they want to hire a lawyer or see if they qualify for court-appointed counsel.

If they want to hire a lawyer, the judge delay their case roughly 30 days or so to give them an opportunity to retain counsel. If they want to see if they qualify for court-appointed counsel, they would fill out the paperwork that the judge is required to have them fill out, including their financial form.

After the individual fills out their financial form, the judge determines if they qualify to have court-appointed counsel. Those who qualify receive judge-appointed counsel, discuss the specifics of the trial, and are alerted that it is their responsibility to contact their lawyer and not their lawyer’s responsibility to contact them.

Role of a Judge

The role of the judge who presides over the initial appearance is to inform the person of their rights in the case. This includes their right to have a lawyer, specifically the right to retain versus their right to see if they qualify for court-appointed, and their further right to remain silent in the case.

In Colonial Heights, the judge may preside over the remainder of the case. Colonial Heights and Chesterfield share judges, and they rotate through both jurisdictions. The judge who presides over the initial appearance or arraignment may or may not be the same judge who hears the case.

Getting out of Jail

Bonds, as they relate to initial appearances, are the accused’s right to be free while they await their court date. If an individual is found to not be a flight risk and to not be a threat to the community, assuming they are in jail at their initial appearance, the judge would normally set bond in their case to allow them to go home or be free while they await their court date.

Let a Colonial Heights DUI Attorney Represent You

If you are preparing for your initial appearance in Colonial Heights DUI court, consider hiring a qualified attorney to stand by your side. If you were already arraigned, a Colonial Heights DUI attorney could explain your legal options and work towards a resolution. Call today to discuss your case with an experienced lawyer.

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