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DUI Arraignment and DUI Pretrial Matters

DUI Arraignment and DUI Pretrial Matters

DUI ARRAIGNMENTS IN CALIFORNIA 

An arraignment is a formality wherein a defendant either enters a plea to the charges or enters a plea of not guilty and the case is set for a pretrial conference.

DUI PRETRIAL CONFERENCES IN CALIFORNIA 

A pretrial conference, of which there are usually several, is where a defense attorney and the prosecutor engage in negotiations.

DEFENDANT'S PERSONAL PRESENCE AND PLEA IN ABSENTIA 

In misdemeanor cases, a court’s “blanket policy” directive that all defendants appear personally violates their right to appear by counsel pursuant to Penal Code Section 977(a).

A misdemeanor DUI defendant may appear by retained counsel “unless the circumstances of an individual case justify ordering an accused to appear in person”).

Both the due process and jury trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. and California Constitutions prohibit punishing a defendant for asserting his or her right to a trial, instead of pleading guilty.

Despite the constitution, though, a growing number of judges do threaten greater penalties later for not pleading guilty early.

As noted in
People v. Morales (1967), “[i]t is clear that by increasing the penalty in the case of a defendant who chooses to rely on the presumption of innocence, to put the state to the test of proving its case, and to assert his right to a jury trial, one is in effect penalizing a defendant who asserts rights to which he is entitled.” Id., at 546. See also Yale Law Journal discussion.

FAILURES TO APPEAR 

A willful failure to appear (PC § 853.7) may not properly be added as a charge in a pending case based merely upon the fact that the failure to appear occurred in the proceedings in that case.
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