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Tips To Help You Prepare for Your DWI Arraignment Hearing


In New York, after a driver is arrested for driving while intoxicated, they are taken before a judge for arraignment. An arraignment is usually the first step in a criminal proceeding. During your arraignment hearing, you will be formally charged with DWI. The judge will read the charges against you during the hearing and ask you to enter a plea. You may be sentenced during the arraignment hearing if you plead guilty or no contest. On the other hand, if you plead not guilty (which you are allowed to), you will have a chance to challenge the prosecution’s case.

A skilled defense attorney can help you prepare for your arraignment. However, since you have the right to handle your case alone, knowing the steps you can take to prepare for your DWI arraignment hearing may be helpful in case you decide to go at it alone without legal counsel. The following are some tips to help you prepare for your DWI arraignment hearing;

Tip #1: Understand the Arraignment Hearing

The first thing to do to prepare for your DWI arraignment hearing is to understand what an arraignment hearing is. An arraignment hearing is the first time you appear before a judge to hear the charges against you. At this hearing, you will be asked if you need an attorney (if you don’t have one). You will also enter a plea. You can plead guilty, no contest, or not guilty.

Tip #2: Decide How You Want to Plea

How you plead during your arraignment hearing will determine how your DWI case proceeds. If you plead not guilty, you can defend yourself and challenge the prosecution’s case. On the other hand, if you plead guilty or no contest, the next step will be sentencing. It is crucial that, before your arraignment, you think carefully about how you want to plead.

It is advisable that, even if you do not plan to hire an attorney, you consult one to seek guidance on how to plead.

Tip #3: Understand Why You Were Pulled Over

Take time to understand why the officer pulled you over. In New York, an officer cannot stop you if they don’t have reasonable suspicion. Reasonable suspicion means an officer has reason to believe that an offense has been committed, is being committed, or will be committed. Often, reasonable suspicion means that an officer saw you disobeying traffic laws. If the officer who pulled you over did not witness you violate a traffic law, they might not have had reasonable suspicion to stop you.

Tip #4: Write Down the Events of Your Case

Finally, it is crucial that you write down what you remember about the moments leading up to your stop and what the police officer said to you and did after they stopped you. Doing this can ensure you do not forget vital details about your case and reveal any police misconduct that can help with your defense.

Contact Us for Legal Help

If you were arrested for DWI, it is best for you to contact a skilled defense attorney. Our NYC DWI/DUI/DWUI/DWAI defense attorney, Mark I. Cohen, can offer you the help you need and deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case.

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