DUI DWI: International Referral
| First Appearance in DUI Court |
What should my client say and do on first appearance in Court on a DUI/DWI/Impaired Driving charge in a particular state or province? Should they bring an attorney's letter? Is it necessary to mention if they are pleading guilty or not guilty? How does someone get disclosure? How does an accused get emergency help on first appearance? What is it like to appear in Court? What clothing is appropriate? How long will I have to wait? Should I wait until my name is called or should I speak to the Crown Attorney or District Attorney right away?
What happens with bail? Will the client be released right away? Do they need a surety?
Fail to appear in person or by an attorney and a warrant will issue for your arrestMost arraignments are handled by mail if there is an attorney of record. Bonds are rare on standard first offenses, though this varies by county.
- Hire a lawyer *before* your first appearance. Not only will you breathe easier with a lawyer in court, but a lawyer can spot problems that may ultimately save your driver's licence.
Any time that you appear in a DUI court or a criminal laws court, you should be appropriately dressed in good quality clothing to show respect to the Court. Always be on time for your court appearance. On first appearance in Ontario, Canada, the accused person should ask for an adjournment for two or three weeks so that he or she may properly retain a criminal law lawyer with expertise in DUI, DWI, Youth Court law, or other specific area of criminal law. A disclosure package of police officers' notes and witness statements may be given out by the Crown as well as a synopsis of the DUI charge, a breath room video and a charge screening form. Safeguard these handouts and bring them to your criminal law lawyer immediately. You will not be asked to indicate a plea on first appearance. Duty counsel is usually available for emergency advice.
You may be wondering, "Should I plead guilty to drinking and driving or can I fight the DUI charge?" Remember, there will be costly insurance implications if you are convicted. For best results, hire a lawyer with substantial DUI laws or other experience related to this area of criminal law . Make notes of what happened using The Canadian Impaired Driving Checklist and bring them to your lawyer. Mississauga, Brampton, and Toronto criminal law lawyer, Stephen Biss has extensive experience in defending DUI, drunk driving and care or control cases since 1979. He also has the experience of prosecuting DUI impaired driving matters as a Part-time Assistant Crown Attorney in Mississauga, Brampton, and Orangeville.First appearance in a busy , Ontario DUI courthouse can be intimidating. Do not bring sharp objects, knives, drugs, or cell phones into courthouse. Security at the entrance to the DUI Courthouse may seize these objects from you. Some Greater Toronto Area courthouses have security similar to an airport. It is unwise to carry a cell phone since it may accidentally ring in DUI Court and you may receive a nasty scolding from the criminal court judge. Some judges in the Greater Toronto Area order that cell phones shall be seized in the courtroom and placed on the clerk's desk only to be returned once criminal Court is finished. Besides creating the obvious nuisance if they ring, cell phones can also interfere with sensitive voice lift and recording equipment in the criminal law courthouse. Ask your DUI attorney for more information about what you should do and not do in DUI and criminal court in Ontario.
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