Each and every DWI case is going to be a bit different. Therefore, the following advice is a bit more generalized and most likely applies to people with their first-time DWI charges.
Of course, it’s normal to be a bit worried if you’ve been charged with a DWI and have an upcoming court appearance. But, you shouldn’t be.
Especially not if you have a lawyer specialized in DWI cases by your side. Check this article.
Your first court appearance during a DWI case is known as an arraignment. But before you show up, there are a few things you’re going to want to keep in mind.
Let’s take a look at 5 things everyone should known before their first arraignment in a DWI case.
Make Sure You’re Well-Dressed
The more you make yourself look good and primp your appearance, the more likely the judge is to feel that you respect the court and him/her as well.
Judges are people too, and just like you and I, they often tend to make rather subjective decisions about the people standing in front of them. Also keep in mind that the judge’s decision has the ability to impact your ability to drive a vehicle and alter your life completely.
Therefore, the more you make the judge feel like you’re being respectful, through the way you dress and the way you address them, the likelier they’ll be to treat you with respect in turn.
Learn more about proper court attire here.
Have a Ride There and Back
In New York, there is something known as a “suspension pending prosecution” during DWI cases.
In other word, your New York driver’s license is likely going to be suspended when you show up for your arraignment.
Therefore, unless your lawyer has specifically told you otherwise, you should expect the judge to suspend your license. So, be prepared by having someone available to pick you up and drive you home afterward.
Have Your Lawyer Submit a Hardship Privilege Application
Like most people, you’re likely going to need to drive to work prior to your first court appearance. Therefore, it’s important that your lawyer submits an application for a Hardship Privilege before your hearing.
Read more about hardship privileges here: https://www.lawyers.com/legal-info/criminal/dui-dwi/what-is-a-hardship-license.html
When a Hardship Privilege is granted, it will allow you to drive back and forth from work, as well as for any necessary medical treatments during the time your license is suspended pending prosecution.
Typically, a Hardship Privilege is granted without the need of a formal hearing, but still, it’s best to make sure that your lawyer has prepared the application before your hearing. Otherwise, you may not be allowed to drive yourself to work the next day.
According to New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 1193(2)(e)(7)(e), a Hardship Privilege may be obtained as long as your lawyer is able to prove to the court that having your license suspended pending prosecution is going to result in “extreme hardship”.
This means they must prove that you have no other means of travel to your workplace or medical treatment centers.
Have Any Potential Proof Ready
If there is any valid evidence that suggests your blood alcohol level (BAC) was lower that 0.08 when you were caught driving, or that you weren’t even operating a motor vehicle to begin with, you might be eligible for a “pringle hearing”, which could prevent you from having your license suspended.
Hire an Experienced DWI Lawyer in New York
Before you attend your arraignment hearing, it’s a good idea to speak to your lawyer and ask them questions about the matters we’ve discussed above. If they’re not familiar with terms like “hardship privilege” or “pringle hearing”, you might want to start looking for a lawyer more experienced in DWI cases.
There will be a number of time intervals set into motion at your arraignment hearing, therefore, if you’re not sure about the competence of your lawyer, it’s vital that you take action and do something about this as soon as you can.
Speak with your lawyer and ask them about anything you’re unsure of or didn’t understand during the hearing.
Remember that having an incompetent lawyer could have a negative impact on the rest of your life, even if you’re facing a simple DWI case.