Arraignment Hearing

Preparing for an initial hearing after a DUI arrest is important. You need to know what you are up against so that you can defend yourself and protect your rights. First, consider that a few different things will happen at your first court date, also known as the arraignment. Bail will be set or denied and you will have to pay the bond in order to be released from jail. In addition, you can enter a plea at an arraignment hearing. Learn more on this page!


If this is your first time being arrested and attending court for a DUI, you may not know what to expect. Having an arraignment hearing can sound scary or stressful. But, you can prepare to handle this type of hearing by learning more on this page. Here’s what you can expect at an arraignment hearing.

Setting Bail

An arraignment hearing is the first step in the court process. After an arrest takes place, most people charged with a misdemeanor or felony will go to an arraignment hearing. At the arraignment hearing, the judge will list the charges against the person, some constitutional rights, find probable causes, and set, review, or deny bail.

The judge will also decide if the defendant should be released or held in prison until the trial. If the judge sets bail, then the defendant can post bail. This is usually done by cash or a bail bond agent. A licensed surety bail bond agent will only cost a small percentage of the original bond. If the defendant cannot post bail, meaning they cannot pay, they will remain in custody.

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A bond will also be set at these hearings. You will most likely be released if you have no prior criminal record and your case is not violent in nature, as long as you provide a written promise to attend all future court dates. In some situations, a person will be released after they are charged with a crime on their own recognizance. This means that the person doesn’t have to post a bail bond in order to be released from jail. They will be asked by the court to appear at their court dates without the threat of losing their bail bond.

There are a few factors which help a judge determine if someone is eligible for bail. They will look at the defendant’s ties to the community, prior criminal record and convictions, past court appearances after bail, the seriousness of the crime, family and employment ties, finances, the nature of the offense, and the defendant’s mental wellbeing. All of these factors and more will help the judge determine if bail should be granted or denied, and what a suitable bond fee is for the situation.

Pleading at a Hearing

The defendant must also enter a plea at arraignment hearings. If the defendant pleads “not guilty,” a pre-trial conference date is set. The defendant can also plead “guilty,” and admit to committing the crime and taking fault for it, or “no contest,” meaning they admit to the crime but do not take guilt for it.

Having a court appearance of any kind can be nerve-wracking, especially if it is your first time. An attorney can help make this easier and also help to get you the best possible results out of your hearing. A DUI defense lawyer can argue for the court to set a bond for you and that the bail bond is a reasonable fee. Call Lady DUI if you are looking for a defense attorney to represent you at your arraignment. We are happy to help.

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