Proven Approach With Results Forged Through Experience

Mark L. Deniz, Esq.

What happens at court for the first hearing for a San Diego DUI charge. Arraignment

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2016 | Firm News |

In most DUI cases someone gets arrested and gets a date to appear in court when they bail out. The date is usually six weeks away. In some cases, a person was arrested and gets a notify letter telling them to attend court on a cerrtain day.

In most cases, an attorney can appear on your behalf and advocate for you. I would recommend this. It saves you from the stress and anxiety that comes with court. I know some clients believes being there will help their case. However, so much of the negotiation happens behinds closed doors and when the courtroom is closed to the public that it usually makes it moot.


I prefer obtaining pictures and information about the client and giving it to the prosecution before we speak. As a former prosecutor I can tell you it is good to have the knowledge ahead of time because you and the attorney can them focus on legal facts once you see the persons quality.

The first hearing depends so much on the attorney. Finding out how the attorney works with the facts is key when choosing an attorney. You have to feel comfortable with their strategy.

Our firm works each case differently. In every case, the key is to be proactive. We use the APS hearing to subpoena as much as we can ourselves so we do not have to wait to get it from the prosecution (the DMV and court are two different entities. Check my website for the DUI process in whole for details). For example, we have received video from the DMV that thank goodness the prosecution never got to see. Just knowing that we did not want the video to be part of the negotiations was a victory for the client.

So what to expect? Every DUI is different. You can expect there to be ample negotiations. The expectation comes from finding out the intent of that hearing from the attorney. This is the art that comes with DUI defense. I have seen cases successsfully negotiated at the first hearing and the 12th hearing.

I suggest obtaining an attorney you feel confident with and letting them go to court to advocate for you to get the best result possible. Our firm would love to advocate on your bahalf.

If you or someone you love is charged with a DUI you need to call our office now at 858-751-4384 for a free consultation.

Here is officially what a basic arraignment is about:

After the arrest, booking, and initial bail phases of the criminal process, the first stage of courtroom-based proceedings takes place — arraignment. During a typical arraignment, a person charged with a crime is called before a criminal court judge, who:

  • Reads the criminal charge(s) against the person (now called the “defendant”);
  • Asks the defendant if he or she has an attorney, or needs the assistance of a court-appointed attorney;
  • Asks the defendant how he or she answers, or “pleads to”, the criminal charges — “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “no contest”;
  • Decides whether to alter the bail amount or to release the defendant on his or her own recognizance (Note: These matters are usually revisited even if addressed in prior proceedings); and
  • Announces dates of future proceedings in the case, such as the preliminary hearing, pre-trial motions, and trial.