Save Up Vacation Days For Court Appearances, Community Service, and DUI Class
One of the most difficult issues that you may face is recognizing how little of the scheduling of court matters is within the direct control of your attorney. One of the things out of your control (and your attorney’s) is determining when you will need to be present in court for different legal proceedings. It is the judge, and his or her clerks and assistants who set the court’s schedule.
If anyone has input, it is the prosecutor, in most jurisdictions. An attorney who is well versed in DUI-DWI practice will know the various methods for getting cases rescheduled or postponed if any way exists. Plus, a well-respected trial attorney who enjoys a stellar reputation for being prepared for trial may be able to obtain a change of court dates with your assigned judge in certain instances, where good cause for an “adjournment” or a “continuance” exists.
The legal process involves several steps that require you to clear your schedule. Some of these times include appointments when you will meet with your lawyer, your investigator or possibly your expert witnesses. You will likely have to go to the scene of your arrest for several reasons. Usually, these matters can be scheduled at times that will fit your schedule and the schedule of the expert witnesses.
Other times, you must make your schedule “fit” the court’s schedule. In some states, you will need to be present any time your case is in court. In other states, a power of attorney given to your lawyer allowing him or her to act on your behalf or a written “waiver” (of your right to be present in court) signed by you can free you from attending certain court matters.
Assuming that you bond out of jail, no preliminary hearing will usually be needed in your case. A preliminary hearing is a legal proceeding wherein a judge (typically a magistrate judge) will be asked to review the evidence that led to your arrest to determine if your case should be bound over for further prosecution, or whether the existing evidence is too flimsy to support criminal charges.
These hearings are not full discovery proceedings and usually offer little chance for your attorney to fully examine all witnesses. However, it is unlikely that your DUI-DWI case will merit a preliminary hearing, unless a felony is involved, or unless you are held in jail for an extended period of time following your arrest.