The initial appearance in DUI court in West Palm Beach typically occurs at an arraignment. An arraignment often occurs 30 days after a person has been arrested. The person is given a citation and the date is then given when they are released from jail. The initial appearance is called an arraignment.

The purpose of an arraignment is to afford the person with the constitutional right of due process, and that is to inform the person of what the charges are against them if they enter a plea and to inform the court whether or not they are going to hire their own attorney or they are requesting an attorney to be provided to them by the government or they are requesting a public defender. That is the first initial appearance. Often, an experienced DUI attorney waives the initial appearance in order to seek a fair case involving evidence examination and a jury.

Where Arraignments and Initial Appearances Typically Occur

In West Palm Beach, an initial appearance in DUI court in West Palm Beach takes place at the courthouse located at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office on Gun Club Road. There is a courthouse there next to the jail or in between the jail and the sheriff’s office where these initial hearings are held in West Palm Beach, not the main courthouse.

What Parties are Present for the First Court Date?

If initial appearance is conducted and the person is represented, typically, the initial appearance will be waived by the lawyer. If it is not waived, the people that need to be there would be the lawyer, and the prosecutor, and the judge. No witnesses need to be there.

No police officers need to be there, just the lawyer, the prosecutor and the judge. If the client does not have a lawyer then instead of the lawyer appearing, the client must appear himself or herself because they’re not represented. There would be the client, the prosecutor and the judge.

Those are the only people that need to appear at an initial appearance. It is not a trial. It is not an evidentiary hearing. It is just an initial procedure to formally advise the person that they have been charged and to formally enter a plea and let the court know if the person is going to hire their own attorney or they need one appointed for them because they cannot afford one.

Understanding the Role of a Judge in a DUI Case

The role of the judge at the initial appearance in DUI court in West Palm Beach is to make sure that the person understands what the charge is, that they enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. That also make sure the individual knows their right to have an attorney appointed to them if they cannot afford one.

This judge does not typically preside over the remainder of the case. In West Palm Beach, the DUI arraignments are held at a satellite courthouse located at the jail and the sheriff’s office in that complex, the criminal justice complex in West Palm Beach.

Often, if a person pleads not guilty at the hearing, the case will be randomly assigned to a Trial Division judge at the main courthouse in West Palm Beach. The judge who presides over the initial appearance is not normally the Trial judge.

What is a Bond Schedule?

If a person posted a bond when they were released, it remains the same as long as the person appears or their attorney appears for them at their initial appearance. There is no separate bond schedule for the initial appearance in DUI court in West Palm Beach. The bond stays the same from the person’s release unless something happens that the person does not come to court or they get arrested again. The bond will stay the same. It should not be affected at an initial appearance.

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