DUI Arraignment: Find out how to plea at your Arraignment if you wish to invoke your right to defend your DUI charges.

Don’t Plead “Guilty” to Scottsdale DUI or Criminal Charges Until Consulting a Good Scottsdale DUI Defense or Criminal Defense Lawyer. Experienced criminal & DUI attorneys may be able to use certain defenses, you are not aware of, that will lead to a dismissal of your charges.

Arraignments: Pleading guilty or “not guilty” to Scottsdale DUI or Criminal Charges
Among other reasons, the primary purpose of an Arraignment in criminal court is for you to inform the court on how you wish to “plea” in your Scottsdale Dui or Criminal Charges. It is never a good idea to enter a guilty plea for Scottsdale DUI or criminal charges before consulting a DUI or criminal attorney who defends Scottsdale DUI and criminal charges. No matter how serious the DUI or criminal charge, you should not waive this important right. By law you still have the right to defend and challenge the charges. With retention of a qualified DUI or Criminal Lawyer in Scottsdale defending you, the chances of getting a good outcome in your case increase significantly. Experienced criminal defense and Scottsdale DUI lawyers may be able to utilize certain defenses that will lead to a reduction or dismissal of your criminal charges. In the very least you should consult a Scottsdale DUI or Criminal defense lawyer to discuss your charges and defense options.

Arraignment Locations for Criminal Court for Scottsdale DUI or Criminal Charges

Following your arrest or detention in Scottsdale for criminal or DUI charges, you will be given a complaint (if you are still in custody) or a summons will be delivered to you (if you are not in custody) It should include the location, date and time you will be required to appear for your Arraignment in criminal court. The court where you will be required to appear is usually based on the nature of the charges (felony or misdemeanor), and jurisdiction where you were charged. Most felony arraignments are held in Superior Courts in Arizona. Most misdemeanors are held in Justice Courts in Arizona, such as Scottsdale Justice Court. However, some felonies can initially begin in the lower courts in Arizona.

Consequences for “Failure to Appear” for your Arraignment for Scottsdale DUI or Criminal Charges

If you have not retained a private DUI or criminal defense lawyer, you must appear at the criminal court location, date, and time scheduled. Be sure you are there early. If you fail to appear, a bench warrant may be issued for your arrest by the criminal court Judge, by authority of Arizona Law:

1) “A.R.S. 13-2506 in the second degree; classification” Failure to appear for Misdemeanor Charges;
2) “A.R.S. 13-2507 in the first degree; classification” Failure to appear for Felony Charges
If you have retained a Scottsdale DUI or criminal defense firm, they will give you further instructions. In some cases, your Scottsdale criminal defense lawyer or DUI attorney can vacate the arraignment date and provide what the court needs through alternative legal channels. In that case, you would be advised by your attorney that you need not be present for the arraignment in court. You should contact him or her to confirm the need for you to appear or not to be present, if you are unsure.

What Happens at the Arraignment in Criminal Court
Among other reasons, the primary purpose of your Arraignment is to advise the court of how you wish to plea the crime that you have been accused of committing in Scottsdale AZ. You can also expect the some or all of the following events to happen: the court will confirm your identity, current address and other contact information; explain your rights; read your formal charges; advise you of the potential range of penalties if convicted; find your intent of retaining or not being represented by a criminal defense attorney for your Scottsdale DUI or criminal charges.

Types of Pleas that can be Entered at an Arraignment

There are three possible pleas to a criminal or DUI charge:

“Not Guilty” – This means that you are denying guilt. In this case, the burden of proof is with prosecution to prove your guilt of the criminal charges against you. If you enter a plea of not guilty on your arraignment date, the Judge will set your case for either a pre-trial conference or a formal trial date.

“Guilty” – You admit or agreeing that you committed the act charged; that the act is prohibited by law; and that you have no legal defense for your act. The Scottsdale AZ Court judge will proceed with your sentencing at this time. If you enter a plea of not guilty on your arraignment date, the Judge will set your case for either a pre-trial conference or a formal trial date.

“No Contest” – This means you are not admitting you are guilty; but that you also do not wish to challenge the charges or evidence at a trial; and you will accept the conviction, sentencing and punishments of the criminal charge. The judge will proceed with your sentencing at this time. If you enter a plea of not guilty on your arraignment date, the Judge will set your case for either a pre-trial conference or a formal trial date.


If you have an outstanding warrant for arrest in Arizona or have been arrested in Maricopa County for AZ DUI, DWI, Drunk Driving or any other criminal charges contact the Law Office of James Novak, for your Free Consultation at (480) 413-1499. Speak directly with experienced Arizona criminal Defense and DUI & Criminal defense Attorney, James Novak (Former Prosecutor). The Law Office of James Novak is devoted 100% to defending DUI, Drug & criminal charges in valley wide within Maricopa County including Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, Phoenix, Chandler, Gilbert Arizona, East Valley, AZ and surrounding cities within the Phoenix metro and Maricopa County Areas.

This blog has been posted for general public informational purposes only. All articles by this author are intended to raise awareness and generate discussion on a variety of Arizona State Law issues and topics. Note that Arizona legislation, laws, criminal code and AZ DUI & criminal laws and penalties frequently change. If you have any active criminal or DUI or criminal defense matters related to this topic, it is important that you consult or hire an Arizona criminal or AZ DUI or criminal defense law firm in the jurisdiction of Arizona where you received your charges of up to date information on the laws, penalties and defense options.

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