DWI Court Process

This is a brief overview of what takes place if you have been arrested for misdemeanor DWI.

Your first court date is called the 1st Appearance:

Your First Appearance is typically scheduled 30 days after your arrest. If you have been arrested and released for a misdemeanor DWI, you will be given a date to return to court (usually 30 days after your arrest). If you hire an attorney, the attorney can usually make this appearance for you, so that you do not have to attend. During this 30-day period, the case is sent to the County Attorney’s office for further investigation. The County Attorney then prepares information and files this with the County Clerk and your case is set on the court’s docket.

The next setting is called the Pre-trial Conference:

At this time your attorney will discuss your case with the County Attorney. These discussions are centered around achieving the best possible resolution for your case. This setting can take place anywhere from 4-10 weeks from your First Appearance date. Here your case could be dismissed or reduced or, instead, the County Attorney could offer some other type of agreement (e.g., plea agreement). Your attorney will discuss with you in detail what options you have and what possible consequences you will endure if you accept any type of plea agreement.

Before going to trial, there will typically be a Suppression Hearing:

At this hearing the Court may suppress some or all of the evidence against you. The Hull Firm will review your case to see if your constitutional rights have been violated. These hearings usually take place anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months after the pre-trial conference.

If no plea agreement has been made, your case will proceed to Trial:

There are two types of trials: a bench trial and a jury trial. At a bench trial, a judge hears your case and makes a determination. At a misdemeanor jury trial, six of your peers hear the case and make a determination. If you have been charged with a felony, the jury will consist of 12 of your peers.

After trial, the court will impose Sentencing:

The Court will impose a sentence is you are convicted at trial or if you have entered into a plea agreement. Your sentence could range from jail time, fines, fees, community service, alcohol awareness classes, or various other punishments that a judge may impose.

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