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DUI Arraignment – The Who, What and Why

DUI Arraignment – The Who, What and Why

The word “arraignment” sounds intimidating and scary. However, after learning about the who, what, and why of a DUI arraignment, a person should have a better understanding of the arraignment process and feel more at ease.

The Who – Who goes to a DUI arraignment?

  • A person who has been charged with DUI, also called a criminal defendant, will be required to attend the arraignment.
  • The arraignment is held in a court of law in front of a judge.
  • It is likely that the city or state prosecutor will also be present.
  • If a private DUI attorney was hired before the arraignment date, the defendant can expect to have their attorney present.  If a private attorney was not hired than a public defender will be present.
  • Other people may also be in the courtroom during the DUI arraignment.

istock photo downloaded for DUI arraignment blogThe What – What is an arraignment?

  • An arraignment is a criminal defendant’s first formal court hearing.
  • The defendant will be formally told of their charges by the judge or prosecutor.
  • The defense attorney and judge will advise the defendant of their legal rights.

The Why – Why is an arraignment important?

  • During the arraignment the judge will ask how the defendant would like to plead to the DUI charge, guilty or not guilty?
  • The defendant will need to plead guilty or not guilty.
  • Next the judge will set conditions of release, which could include; being released on personal recognizance, bail being set, order to install an ignition interlock device, a prohibition against consuming alcohol or drugs (including marijuana), placement of an alcohol detection device on your person, and no driving if the defendant is uninsured or their license is invalid.
  • In most jurisdictions, the defendant can expect to receive a copy of their police report from the prosecutor if a defense attorney is present.
  • And lastly, the defendant can expect to receive their next DUI court date, which is called the pre-trial hearing.


The DUI defense attorneys at David O Defense are here to help navigate clients through all steps of the legal process, including the DUI arraignment. If you have been charged with DUI, call our defense lawyers today, 206-459-6392, to schedule a free legal consultation.


DUI Arraignment Today for Actor John Stamos

DUI Arraignment Today for Actor John Stamos

At some point today, 52-year-old actor, John Stamos will be in front of a Los Angeles Court Judge today for arraignment of his DUI charge.  He is facing one misdemeanor count of DUI which is a result of his June 12th arrest, when he was allegedly driving erratically and behaving strangely.

It appears that drugs were the culprit of Stamos’s DUI and alcohol was not a factor.  Prosecutors are saying that the hospital records revealed drugs in Stamos’s body but they are not sharing what type of drug.

A DUI involving drugs and a DUI involving alcohol are essential the same charge, “Driving Under the Influence” thus the penalties are the same.

If found guilty of this DUI charge, Stamos, aka “Uncle Jesse” on the 1987-1995 sitcom “Full House” could face up to 6 months in county jail.

What is an arraignment and what happens?

An arraignment is the first appearance in court, which is referred to as the “arraignment hearing.” At this hearing the person accused, called the defendant, is formally told of the crime(s) he or she is accused of and is advised of his or her rights. The judge will want to hear the defendant plead guilty or not guilty. ** The DUI and criminal defense attorneys of David O Defense strongly encourage every defendant to plead not guilty at the arraignment hearing.** After the defendant pleads not guilty the court will consider whether or not to take the defendant into custody while the case is pending or consider conditions of release.

Examples of conditions of release could include but are not limited to:

  1. Bail (monetary collateral to the court to guarantee an individual’s presence in court when scheduled).
  2. Law abiding behavior.
  3. No contact with certain persons.
  4. Installation of an ignition interlock.
  5. No driving under certain conditions.
  6. Required electronic home monitoring with alcohol detection devices.
  7. Random urinalysis test.
  8. Released on personal recognizance (simply agree to return back to court as scheduled).

To learn more about how the courts proceed with DUI or criminal cases see our page Criminal Court Process.

Basketball Wives Reality Star Charged With DUI

Basketball Wives Reality Star Charged With DUI

Fame, fortune, and beauty are not enough to escape the wrath of a DUI breathalyzer result.  Nobody knows this better than, Sundy Carter, who provided a breathalyzer sample that revealed a breath test result of .18, over twice the legal DUI limit of .08.  Carter, known for multiple guest appearances on the hit reality TV show, Basketball Wives, was charged with DUI and was booked into the Glendale Police Department.

This past Memorial Day evening may have involved a little too much drinking and socializing for Sunday Carter, according to Los Angeles police reports, the 40 year-old reality star was seen swerving over a double yellow line and was driving westbound in the eastbound traffic lanes.  Law enforcement pulled Carter over around 1am Tuesday morning.  Officers suspected Carter of drunk driving, arrested her, and hauled her into the police station where they gave Carter the choice of providing a blood sample or a breath test sample to test for blood alcohol concentrations.  Carter chose to take the breath test.

Here in Washington State, law enforcement will not give an individual the choice of a blood sample or breath test sample when at the police department.  They only require a breath test.  If an individual feels that the police station’s breathalyzer results were inaccurate, that individual has the right to go to a hospital and pay for a blood draw that provides a much more accurate BAC (blood alcohol content) result.

Sundy Carter, ex-girlfriend of retired NBA player Larry Hughes, posted $10,000.00 in bail on Tuesday and was released. Her first court appearance was this morning at 8:30 for her arraignment where she was formally charged with DUI.  If you want to know more about DUI arraignments read our recent blog “What To Expect At A DUI Arraignment“.

Rumor has it that Sundy Carter will officially join the cast of Basketball Wives for season 3 and hopefully her DUI charge will not affect her full-time reality TV opportunity.


Written by Sarah Ann