If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Boise, Idaho, you will undergo a formal hearing. During this hearing, the charges brought against you will be judged by a court and a decision will be made. It is important to understand the structure and process of the hearing if you have a DUI charge against you. A Boise DUI lawyer can advise you on how best to proceed with your hearing.
In all hearings, the first court date for a DUI case is known as an arraignment. This date will typically be set within 24 to 36 hours of your DUI arrest if you have been in jail since the arrest. If you were arrested and later let go, the date will be set within 96 hours of the arrest. The actual date of the arraignment can be delayed due to off days, holiday, or any other intervening days when the court is not in session.
During the Arraignment
The first thing that a presiding judge at an arraignment must do is to find probable cause for your DUI arrest. This is required when a probable cause has not already been determined.
In DUI arrests that occur following a warrant, probable cause already exists and is substantiated by the warrant itself. However, when a DUI arrest occurs without a warrant, which is often the case, the judge will first find probable cause. This may be before or at the arraignment.
It is possible that your DUI arrest is followed by a preliminary probable cause hearing. If the DUI charge brought against you is a misdemeanor, you are not required to be present at a hearing. However, if you have been charged with felony DUI, you will have to attend the probable cause hearing in person.
The next step is for the judge to inform you, as the defendant, of the formal charges brought against you. It is best to have a lawyer by your side at this point. The lawyer can help you understand the nature and severity of these charges. It is only once you fully understand the charges that you can equip yourself to defend against them.
Rights as a Defendant
The presiding judge at an arraignment is also required, as per Idaho Criminal Rule 5(e), to notify you of your rights as a defendant. These rights include:
- The right to retain an attorney for your defense
- The right to remain silent
- The right to communicate with legal counsel
- The right to bail
- The right to a preliminary hearing
- The right to a trial by jury
Although the judge must pronounce these rights, you can waive this requirement as your attorney can explain these rights to you in detail.
Representation by an Attorney
Another important thing that occurs at an arraignment is the decision regarding your attorney. A judge asks you, as the defendant, whether you can afford an attorney of your own. If you can afford an attorney but haven’t appointed one yet, the judge may put off the arraignment a few days so that you can hire an attorney.
If you can’t afford an attorney of your own and say so, the judge then asks you whether you want to be represented by a public defender. If you agree, the judge may appoint a public defender right there. If you turn down the offer, you effectively waive your rights to be represented by an attorney.
If your DUI arrest has come about following a warrant issued against you, the warrant specifies the bail amount. The judge may adjust the bail amount at an arraignment but such an occurrence is relatively rare. If the arrest occurred without a warrant, the bail amount is set at the arraignment. The judge may also specify other conditions for your release. The bail amount and the release conditions depend upon how much of a danger you pose to the community and your potential risk of flight.
How Can a Boise DUI Attorney Help?
It is critically important to have a qualified attorney by your side at the arraignment. By hiring legal help right from the beginning, you are better able to defend yourself against a DUI charge. This is particularly so with a felony DUI charge which carries stiff penalties. Here at the Hooper Law Offices, we help you put up a robust defense against a DUI charge and seek minimum penalties. Contact us today to discuss your case with our attorneys in a free session.