Jacksonville DUI Arraignment Hearing Attorney

Don't Face Your Charges Alone - Call (904) 701-0591

In the state of Florida, all defendants facing DUI charges will typically have their arraignment hearing within one month of their arrest. This is a mandatory step in the criminal process. If you do not already have an attorney, during the arraignment the court will ask whether or not you need the court to appoint one on your behalf.

During a typical arraignment hearing, the criminal court judge will do the following:

  • Read the defendant his or her criminal charges
  • Ask you, the defendant, how you plead – guilty, not guilty, or no contest
  • Decide if the bail amount should be changed
  • Announce any information of upcoming court proceedings

If you plead either "guilty" or "no contest," you will be asked to sign a waiver before the court imposes a sentence. It is important to note that pleading "no contest" is different from "guilty," however, both will have the same effect. Pleading "no contest" is simply stating that you do not admit guilt, but that you are facing overwhelming evidence and you do not think you can emerge victorious. Regardless, you will be sentenced. To guide you through this process, get in touch with a Jacksonville DUI lawyer from our firm.

Call Jason K.S. Porter, P.A. at (904) 701-0591 to begin discussing your legal options today.

Problems with the Florida Misdemeanor Court System

In 2011, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) published a study which looked into the misdemeanor court system in Florida. The publication titled "Three-Minute Justice: Haste and Waste in Florida's Misdemeanor Courts" found that a harrowing 3 percent of all adults in the state pass through the courts on a yearly basis. They, however, are not always greeted with a just system. In fact, the study found that an overwhelming amount of adults resolved their case without legal counsel – a total of 70 percent of cases being resolved at arraignment.

In the study, these arraignments which decided the future of defendants were anything but comprehensive; in fact, many lasted shorter than three minutes (82 percent), with many defendants simply pleading guilty. The worst part? The study found that less than 50 percent of the cases where a defendant pleaded guilty involved a trial judge who directly informed the defendants of the rights that they were waiving – including their right to appeal.

Statistics such as this underline the need for aggressive legal counsel from the very beginning of the criminal process. This is simply not the time to waive your right to legal representation. This study also noted that defendants that either hired counsel or who had counsel appointed for them were less likely to enter a plea of guilty. When it's your future on the line, don't you deserve a fighting chance? By getting the involvement of our firm from the very beginning of your case, we can help ensure that you are protected. We will appear with you during the arraignment, utilizing our vast experience to help you fight for the outcome that you truly deserve.

Contact a Jacksonville DUI attorney today!

At The Law Offices of Jason K.S. Porter, P.A., we assist clients charged with DUI charges in the Jacksonville, Florida area. As private lawyers with more than 90 years of combined legal experience, it is our experience that the earlier you involve an attorney in your defense the better the resolution of the case. An attorney may be able to obtain speedy dismissal or reduction of charges by conference with a prosecutor prior to charging.

You are encouraged to contact us immediately for a free initial consultation.

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