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Arraignment Tips from DWI Attorneys in Brainerd

Sometime after a DWI arrest, you’ll have to go before a judge for arraignment. The arraignment is an appearance where you will be formally charged with the crime, and you will have an opportunity to respond to the charges by entering a plea of guilty or not guilty. Below you will learn what happens at an arraignment, how to deal with the charges, and how the plea bargain process works.

The Arraignment Process
At the arraignment, you will plead either guilty or not guilty to the DWI Attorneys Brainerd charge. If you haven’t hired an attorney, one may be hired for you, and bail will be set (if applicable). Most misdemeanor defendants who haven’t posted bail are released on recognizance at this time. It is not necessary to hire an attorney for the arraignment; at that time, you’re only entering your plea.

In many states, you can ask for a jury trial, and you can rescind that demand at any time. If you are accused of having prior DUI or DWI convictions, you should deny them so you and your attorney can dispute the validity of the charges later.

Your Options

After your release from jail, you and your lawyer should impartially examine your case. Your choices are as follows:

You can plead guilty to the charges

Plea bargain to a reduced charge such as reckless driving

Ask for a trial in front of a judge

Ask for a jury trial (an option available in most states)

Should I Plea Bargain or Contest the Charges?

The higher the likelihood of a jury finding you guilty of DWI, the more you should consider negotiating a settlement or plea bargaining. If your BAC (blood alcohol content) was over .12, your chances of prevailing at trial are slim. Your lawyer would have to question the validity of the test results.

Hiring an Attorney

Whether you want to go to trial or plead out to a lesser charge, you should seriously consider hiring DWI Attorneys Brainerd. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you can ask for a court-appointed lawyer when you appear for arraignment. You’ll have to provide financial disclosure documentation, and you’ll be referred to a public defender, or to a private lawyer in rural areas.

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