Initial Appearance in DeKalb County DUI Courts

When a person is arrested for DUI in DeKalb County, they will most likely be appear in court for the charge several months later. This is ample time to get in touch with an attorney, however it is strongly recommended that you contact an attorney right away. Charged individuals should contact an attorney right after they have been released from jail in order to prepare for their initial appearance in DeKalb County DUI Courts. Speak with a knowledgeable attorney at Hawkins Spizman to learn more.

When Does a Person Present Themselves in Court for the First Time?

Some criminal charges require a judge to set bond, but many offenses have pre-set bonds where no appearance in front of a judge is required.  Most counties have pre-set bonds for DUI cases, but if there is an accident involving serious injuries or a fatality, a Defendant will have a first appearance before a judge to set bond.

The appearance must happen within 72 hours of their arrest by law. If it does not, they are eligible for a signature bond, which means they can sign their name to be released from jail. Some people might refer to their initial appearance as an arraignment, and that is (once they are bonded out of jail) the next substantial court date in the criminal justice system.

Who is in Attendance During a Person’s First Appearance in Court?

When a person makes their first appearance in court, they will typically go before a judge to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.  At the first appearance, there will also be a prosecutor, and a defense attorney if the defendant is wise enough to hire one for legal guidance and advocacy. In addition to these individuals, jail staff, deputies, and bailiffs will likely be in attendance. All proceedings are recorded, so in many instances, a court reporter may not be necessary.

What is the Role of the Judge?

The initial appearance involves a magistrate court judge who hears the issue of whether they should give the charged person a bond or not.  If the Defendant has made bond, the initial appearance will be several months down the road at the arraignment.  Arraignment often can be waived in writing, and an initial plea of not guilty will be entered, setting the case down potentially for a trial at a later date.

What is a Bond Schedule as it is Related to Initial Appearances?

A bond schedule is just an advance directive by the court to the jail that has the specific bonds related to each charge. Every person who gets arrested for DUI in DeKalb County might have, for example, a $1,500 bond on that charge. Every person who gets arrested and charged with failure to maintain lane might have a $250 bond on that charge. Their bond schedule is effectively the amount of money they must pay based on the charges that they are facing.  Counties that employ a bond schedule alleviate the need to take every Defendant before a judge to set bond.

Call a Legal Professional for Help

As soon as you are charged with a criminal offense, your first step should be to call an attorney immediately. Waiting to speak with a lawyer could have a negative impact on your ability to avoid or minimize the potential penalties. Hiring an attorney in time for your first initial appearance in DeKalb County courts could have a positive impact on your ability to render a favorable outcome. Call today to learn more.


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