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First Appearance Hearing

Within twenty-four (24) hours of the DUI arrest, the Defendant must be brought before a judge for a first appearance hearing. At the hearing, the Judge will set the conditions if any, for release of the defendant from jail. The Judge will also explain to the defendant exactly what he or she is charged with, and in the case of DUIs, appoint the Public Defender to represent the individual at that hearing, if he or she cannot afford an attorney. When a person who is accused of a DUI has sufficient roots in a community to ensure that the person will return for trial, the judge may release the accused on his own recognizance pending judicial proceedings. This means the accused does not have to post bond. Some defendants can post bond prior to the hearing, based on certain conditions. First Appearance hearings are held each morning of the year.

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DUI Procedure