DUI Arraignments in Palm Beach County FL
Most people don’t give much thought to the Florida rules of criminal procedure until they’re facing criminal charges. So, if you aren’t exactly sure what typical DUI arraignments in Palm Beach County FL entail, you aren’t alone.
But at Simko Law Group, our Florida DUI attorneys believe awareness is a vital tool for protecting your rights in any DUI case. Below, you’ll find information on what to expect during a DUI arraignment, potential impacts, and the best way to prepare yourself for this important formal hearing.
What is a DUI Arraignment in Florida?
A DUI arraignment in Florida is a formal court hearing where you’re informed of the charges against you.
Depending on the details of your case, the judge may state that you’re being charged with aggravated DUI, DUI with property damage, boating under the influence, etc.
Under the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, you have the right to know the nature of the charges against you. This is one of the main purposes of a DUI arraignment in Florida.
How DUI Arraignments Fit into the Florida Court Process
Before you attend a DUI arraignment in Florida, a few things have to happen. First, you’re arrested for DUI, typically following a sobriety checkpoint or a traffic stop. From there, you’re entitled by law to an appearance before a judge within 24 hours of your arrest.
The judge reviews the evidence against you to ensure probable cause exists. If they agree with the arresting officer’s findings, the judge will then set or deny bail.
Bail is the dollar amount needed to have you released from police custody until the trial. In some instances, the judge may release you without requiring you to pay any additional collateral. However, the judge may also deny bail altogether if they believe you pose a risk to the general public.
After all of this, your arraignment will be scheduled. This will typically happen within two or three weeks after your first appearance.
What Happens at a DUI Arraignment in Florida?
At a DUI arraignment in Florida, you appear before a judge in court, the judge formally advises you of the charges against you, and you enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest.
If you plead not guilty, the judge will set a date for the first pretrial conference, and your case will continue toward trial.
If you plead guilty or no contest, the judge will sentence you immediately. Under Florida law, these penalties can include fines, incarceration, impoundment of your vehicle, and suspension of your driver’s license.
Hire a Focused, Knowledgeable DUI Attorney Before Your DUI Arraignment in Palm Beach County FL
The sooner you hire a knowledgeable DUI attorney like Andrew Simko of Simko Law Group, the sooner you can start working to reclaim your freedom.
Thanks to his experience as a Florida prosecutor, Andrew Simko is thoroughly familiar with DUI arraignments in Palm Beach County FL, and how to navigate them effectively. As your attorney, he can help you file a written “not guilty” plea and avoid having to attend your arraignment in person.
This would be just the first step in ensuring your rights are protected and securing a favorable outcome in your DUI case. If you or a loved one has a DUI arraignment in Florida looming in the near future, call (561) 951-1264 now to schedule your case consultation.
FAQs About DUI Arraignments in Palm Beach County FL
How does a DUI arraignment impact my driving privileges in Palm Beach County?
Possible impacts to your driving privileges following a DUI arrest in Palm Beach County include:
- Immediate license suspension upon arrest
- Effective for the 10 days after your arrest, you have a hardship license which allows you limited driving privileges
- Permanent license revocation, depending on the severity of your DUI offense
But note these impacts occur following a DUI arrest or conviction. When it comes to driving privileges in Palm Beach County, the arraignment itself doesn’t trigger any penalties unless you plead guilty or no contest.
Remember, entering either of these pleas means you’ll be sentenced immediately. So, your potential sentence includes driver’s license suspension or permanent revocation, again depending on the nature of the charges against you. This is the only way a DUI arraignment in Florida can immediately impact your driving privileges.
What does a no-contest plea mean in a DUI arraignment in Palm Beach County?
In a DUI arraignment in Palm Beach County, a no-contest plea means you aren’t disagreeing with the facts of the case, but at the same time, you aren’t admitting guilt. It’s also known as a “nolo contendere” plea.
This type of plea is somewhat common in plea deals offered by prosecutors. In some cases, a no-contest plea may be beneficial to you in the long run, such as helping you avoid a civil lawsuit.
If, for example, your DUI involved colliding with another driver, that driver can choose to file a civil lawsuit against you once you plead guilty to the charges. But by entering a no-contest plea, the civil lawsuit can’t be filed.
Speaking with a knowledgeable, detail-oriented Florida DUI attorney such as Andrew Simko is the best way to understand the ideal path forward in your case.
Can I post bail immediately after a DUI arraignment in Palm Beach County?
Typically, if a judge allows you to post bail in a Palm Beach County DUI case, you can actually do so before your arraignment.
So, the answer to this question is technically yes, but we must clarify that you may be able to post bail even sooner. At the same time, if you were denied bail at your first appearance, you won’t be able to post bail after your arraignment.
Can I discuss my case with the prosecutor at the DUI arraignment in Palm Beach County?
You may be able to discuss your case with the prosecutor at the DUI arraignment in Palm Beach County, but this isn’t a standard or guaranteed step in the process.
So, there isn’t any moment built in to the arraignment. But you and your lawyer could, for example, contact the prosecutor ahead of your arraignment to have a discussion.
Depending on the evidence in your case, we may be able to negotiate for a reduction or full dismissal of the charges against you.
All in all, trying to navigate DUI arraignments in Palm Beach County FL without the help of an experienced, attentive attorney can be challenging and confusing—to say the least. If you or a loved one has a scheduled DUI arraignment coming up, contact the DUI Lawyers at Simko Law Group now at (561) 951-1264 for your free case evaluation.