What Will Transpire After You Have Been Arrested and Charged With DUI?
Interviewer: When someone’s arrested for DUI and charged what’ll happen to them? What’s the sequence of events and what’s the time scale and what do they have to start getting a handle on defending themselves?
You Will Be Issued a Bond to Procure Your Release at the Police Station
Steve Tomeo: Once, they are arrested and they are taken to the police station then somebody there at the police station is going to set bond. Sometimes it’ll be the patrol officer himself or the officer in charge, the desk officer.
Typically, You Will Also Receive a Summons That Indicates Your First Court Date
They’ll set a bond and more often than not it’s a non-surety bond so they’ll say $500 non-surety bond. A non-surety bond is generally a promise to appear. Then, they’ll have the individual sign the bond form and on that bond notice form they give them their court date. Sometimes they’ll give them a misdemeanor summons, which is like the standard traffic ticket that indicates the first court date.
Some People Do Not Hire an Attorney Until After Their First Court Appearance
Then, if the individual says, “Well, I do not really know what to do. I want to get my bearings here.” A lot of times they’ll go in the court themselves and they’ll say to the prosecutor, “Well, I think I’d rather have an attorney.” Then, the prosecutor or the judge will continue the case to give them sufficient time to hire an attorney. It depends on what court you are in at the time. Sometimes the prosecutor will say, “Go ask the judge” and sometimes the prosecutor will say, “Okay I’ll give you an administrative continuance for 30 days and when you come back the next time you come back with your attorney.”
Once You Retain an Attorney, He or She Will Sign the Fee Agreements and File a Written Appearance
Then, when you come back with your attorney and in Connecticut, the attorney is required to sign fee agreements. Once the fee agreement is signed and all those details are worked out then the attorney will file a written appearance. He’ll send the appearance to the clerk of the court where you have to appear and a copy of the appearance to the prosecutor. Most courts they won’t really deal with you unless there’s a copy of the appearance in their file.
You Are Re-assigned a New Court Date, Which You Are Required to Attend With Your Attorney
Then, after you’ve had the appearance, you have an attorney, and you have received your court date, the attorney goes with the client on that day and the client has to be there. If he’s not there he or she is subject to re-arrest. Some courts are really sticklers about that; with others, if you tell the prosecutor my client isn’t here, the Prosecutor will say, “Okay I’ll continue it.”
Interviewer: What’s the first court date called?
Steve Tomeo: The arraignment date.
Interviewer: So that is the first court date they are looking at after a DUI arrest.
In Many Instances, the Attorney Needs Time to Prepare a Defense and Will Request a Copy of the Prosecutors File or Other Discovery Information
Steve Tomeo: What occurs is many times, you do not know how to plead your client and you want more time to prepare. In order to get a copy of the prosecutor’s file, you have to give them a request for the production of documents or some form of discovery request. Then, the prosecutor has a certain amount of time in order to give you the documents. Most of the courts in Connecticut when you go to court on the arraignment date, you will receive the file and you can go in the clerk’s office or in the prosecutor’s office and copy it, or they’ll have a copy waiting for you.
After Reviewing the Requested Information, the Attorney and the Client Attend the Next Court Date and Enter a Plea
You obtain a copy of the arrest report and generally you are able to have a continuance. Then, you go over the documents with your client and you come back the next scheduled date and you enter a plea.