If you have been charged with and arrested for a New York DWI in Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, Putnam, Orange or Ulster counties, your first interaction with the courts will be at your arraignment.
An arraignment is not a trial in which evidence is produced and witnesses are called, but it is the first and very important step in due process.
Due process means that your legal rights must be respected by the state.
During the arraignment, you, as the defendant, are advised of the charges against you and those rights, especially your right to legal counsel.
What to expect during a Yonkers DWI arraignment
Since you have the right to legal counsel, it is in your best interest to retain a Yonkers attorney with experience in defending DWI charges in New York.
The judge will ask your attorney if you wish to plead guilty or not guilty.
Next steps include:
- The judge will read the charges against you. Your lawyer will have copies of the charges and will waive a further reading.
- You will be asked if you wish to plead guilty or not guilty. Your attorney will answer on your behalf.
- The district attorney (DA) may, at this time, serve any statements you may have made and any other information they may intend to use against you when you go to trial. They must produce this information within 15 days of your arraignment.
- Your license will automatically be suspended pending trial. If you refused to submit to a sobriety test (e.g., a breathalyzer) or if you have a DWIC charge or conviction within the last five years, your license is suspended with no possibility of a hardship consideration. Otherwise, you would be required to testify at a “hardship hearing” within three days of your arraignment and prove that you have no viable alternative way of getting to work or cannot afford the cost of a taxi, bus or train. If granted, a hardship license allows you to drive to and from work, and only during specified days and hours.
- The arraignment judge will order an OASAS (Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services) alcohol evaluation. Your lawyer can arrange this for you.
- Bail is set. The amount of bail will depend on any prior convictions, past or outstanding warrants, the charges against you and the circumstances of your case, if you are employed or not and your ties to family and the community.
- During the time your case is adjourned, your attorney will review the evidence against you and negotiate with the DA to obtain the best possible outcome for your case.
Don’t wait until trial to put a knowledgeable Yonkers DWI attorney on your side
Protect your rights from the very beginning.
We have worked with hundreds of clients in the Bronx, Yonkers, and throughout Westchester, Bronx and Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, Putnam, Orange and Ulster counties.
Call our office at (914) 968-5800 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.