March 10, 2022 | DUI
There’s nothing worse than seeing red and blue flashing lights coming up behind you while driving, especially if you’ve had a drink or two. When the police pull over drivers for DUI in Kentucky, usually it results in an arrest. That can mean spending a few hours, the night, or even multiple days in jail.
You’ll probably want to get in front of a judge as soon as possible, both to get a bond and have a trial to clear your name. However, the timing of your first DUI court date depends on several factors.
How Long Do You Wait Until Getting a Bond Hearing?
Most people who are arrested in Kentucky for a first-time DUI will go before a judge for a formal hearing to determine bond within twenty-four hours after arriving at the jail.
When someone is arrested for a DUI in Kentucky, a pretrial officer interviews them for a pretrial risk assessment. A pretrial risk assessment is a tool that measures your risk of flight and likelihood of committing further crimes while awaiting your first court date.
When you arrive at the jail, a pretrial officer will ask you questions about your address, ties to the community, work history, and education. They’ll also conduct a background check to see if you’ve been arrested or convicted of a crime before. Then, the officer makes a recommendation and writes a report that is given to a judge to determine whether or not you’ll be released.
According to Kentucky code, a defendant shall get a personal recognizance or unsecured bond, as long as they are not a risk of flight and do not pose a threat to the community. This means you won’t need to pay anything to get out of jail, but you may need to follow certain rules. These rules may include not drinking alcohol, adhering to a curfew, or periodically checking in with a pretrial officer.
When someone is charged with a felony DUI or second-offense DUI, they are less likely to get bond. If the judge determines that you aren’t eligible for bond, you’ll have to wait in jail until your first court date.
What is the Purpose of the First Court Date?
Your first court date is an arraignment. Usually, you’ll appear in court for arraignment the day after your arrest, unless you were arrested on a weekend or before a holiday. If that’s the case, you’ll need to wait until the next business day.
At your arraignment, there will be a formal hearing where you enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. The judge will also consider the pretrial report to decide if a bond is appropriate. In addition, you’ll be appointed a lawyer or allowed to hire one. Sometimes people hire a lawyer beforehand so that the lawyer can help them navigate the arraignment process.
At the arraignment, the judge will set another court date for your trial.
How Long Will I Wait Until My DUI Trial Date in Lexington, Kentucky?
Lexington, KY judges will decide when to set your trial based on several factors, including the availability of the lawyers and the court, witnesses, and the specific evidence in your case.
If the police did a DUI blood test when they arrested you, your court date will probably be further in the future. That’s because they need to wait for the results from the state lab. If there is a high chance of complicated evidentiary matters, the judge may set a status date before your trial date. The purpose of the status date is for the lawyers to file and argue motions, or negotiate a plea deal.
If you haven’t received a bond and are waiting in jail, your trial date will probably be sooner than those who are out on bond because of your speedy trial rights under the Sixth Amendment.
For most people, their DUI trial date will be within a few months of their arrest. But others may wait longer depending on the specific facts of their case. A DUI lawyer can advocate in court for the court to set the soonest possible trial date. They can also file motions to either advance or continue your trial throughout the course of the case.
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