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What to expect at a Kirkland DUI arraignment

Posted by Aaron J. Wolff | Oct 23, 2012 | 0 Comments

A Kirkland DUI lawyer explains the first court appearance for a Kirkland DUI charge

Following an arrest for a Kirkland DUI, the arresting officer typically releases a suspect without any type of citation for DUI.  Kirkland DUI charges are filed "via investigation" by the City of Kirkland prosecutor (the private law firm of Moberly & Roberts).  What this means is the arresting officer will complete his or her report and then file it with the prosecutor's office for review.  The Kirkland prosecutor will then review the report and determine whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant the filing of the DUI charge.  The statute of limitations (maximum time the government has to file charges) is two years.  The Kirkland prosecutor's office never takes close to that amount of time to file charges.  What I typically tell people accused of a Kirkland DUI is to expect charges to be filed between two weeks and two months from the date of arrest.

Once the prosecutor files the DUI charge with the Kirkland Municipal Court, the accused will receive a summons to appear for their arraignment.  Arraignments for Kirkland DUI cases are always on Tuesday mornings at 8:45 am.  Court opens at 8:30 am, and I always advise people to arrive extra early.

Upon arriving, going through security and entering the courtroom, a person will need to obtain an "advisement of rights" form.  These are usually at the counsel table in the front of the courtroom.  The advisement of rights basically states all of the rights a person has at an arraignment.  After reviewing the form, the accused will need to sign the bottom and hold onto it until their case is called.

It is important to arrive extra early for arraignment

The court doors open at 8:30am and Judge Lambo usually takes the bench right at 8:45am.  He proceeds to take roll-call to see who is present in court.  When completed, Judge Lambo usually asks the prosecutor to call cases involving private attorney matters.  For those who do not have an attorney at their arraignment, a public defender will be present to assist in the entry of their plea.

When a person's case is called, he or she will go to the front of the courtroom.  The prosecutor will ask the person to confirm their name and date of birth and will then state they are being charged with the crime of DUI (or Physical Control), and inquire as to whether the person understands the nature of the charge  After the person agrees, the DUI attorney will then take over and do most of the speaking.  The lawyer will ask the judge to enter a plea of "not guilty."

After the plea is entered, Judge Lambo will ask the prosecutor what conditions of release they are requesting.  Typical conditions of release for a Kirkland DUI arraignment are no law violations, no driving without license and suspension, no consumption of alcohol/non-prescribed drugs and promise to appear at all future court dates.  These conditions are typical for people who have no prior history and whose current case does not have aggravating factors (such as a high BAC, an accident, or when chlldren are in the vehicle).  If a person has prior DUI offense(s) or if there are aggravating factors, it is very common for the prosecutor to request the imposition of an interlock and/or SCRAM device as well as bail.

After conditions are imposed, the court will select the date for the next court appearance (pre-trial conference).  The total time before the judge usually takes one to two minutes.  After appearing before Judge Lambo, a person will then see the court clerk and sign for notice of their next court date as well as the conditions of release.

The experienced Kirkland DUI lawyers at Wolff Criminal Defense offer a free initial consultation

The attorneys at Wolff Criminal Defense have years of experience representing people accused of a Kirkland DUI charge.  They also have served as both the prosecutor and public defender for Kirkland, and their office is located in south Kirkland.  Call an attorney directly 7 days a week at 425-284-2000 to schedule your free initial consultation.

About the Author

Aaron J. Wolff

A former DUI prosecutor, Aaron Wolff has over 18 years of experience in representing people accused of DUI and is recognized as one of the leading defense lawyers in Washington State. His relentless and passionate advocacy has lead to superb ratings and outstanding reviews from former clients.


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