The Arraignment or First Court Date
After you hopefully, retrieve your car from the impound lot, the next step is the first court date. That is usually the arraignment and that’s when the attorney gets to look at the police report and look at the police video. Also, you check to see if the blood test is back from the medical examiner office and file your pretrial motions and file your discovery motions. If a blood test was administered, the attorney will file a request for the blood test evidence from the ME office.
The Pretrial Process Can Be Lengthy; in Some Cases, Your Trial Will Not Be Set for Several Years
This is the time when the attorney will do an evaluation of the case. Then it will be set for pretrial, possibly a couple of times and finally on the trial dockets. So, realistically, if a person wants to fight a DWI though the trial, depending on what court the case is in, the process could take a couple years and five, six or seven court appearances before you get your day in court.
Plea Bargains Can Be Negotiated in a Matter of Hours
Interviewer: What about if you are able to come to a plea agreement, how long will it take on average?
Gary: In most cases, in a couple of hours you can arrive at a favorable plea bargain. You do your plea agreement up in front of the court and once that’s done, that’s the short part of it, is you can do a plea in a half hour, get all the paperwork done and then you got to go over to the probation department and meet with the probation officer. A plea can be completely resolved in a day.
What Percentage of DWI Charges End up Going to Trial?
Interviewer: What percentage of the cases you deal with end up going to trial versus reaching an agreement?
Gary: With DWIs and a past history, approximately 60% of them plea, maybe 20% go to trial, and I have about a 20% dismissal rate.