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Patrick T. Barone
The DUI Book
A Michigan Citizen's Handbook on Fighting a Drunk Driving Case
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Michigan Drunk Driving Arraignment
We will go into court and we will tell the court that we waive the formal reading. When the court hears this they will know that we have done our job. That is we have told you what the potential penalties are. You know what the charges are that you’re facing. The court will then enter a plea of not guilty in your behalf. That is part one of the arraignment. Part two of the arraignment is where the court determines what bond, and what bond conditions are appropriate. There are two parts of the bond, the first is the money and the second part is the conditions.
With regard to the money, in most instances, we are able to get what is called a “personal recognizance bond” for a client. What that means you don’t have to post any money at all. The court takes your word that you will appear in the future. Of course if you are standing there voluntarily with us at your side, the court knows that you are a good candidate to appear voluntary in the future, and that no money will be necessary.
On the other hand if you have a criminal record, or if you’re facing a particular serious type of drunk driving. Such as when an injury or death has occurred or if you have many prior drunk driving offenses, the court may seem fit to have some type of cash bond. We would have discussed that with you before you get to court so that you are prepared, have the money, and ready to post the bonds so that you don’t have to spend any time in jail. The next part of the arraignment is to determine what conditions, if any, are necessary to make sure that you’re not drinking and more importantly that you are not drinking and driving.
The first primary concern of a drunk driving case is to make sure that while you’re on their watch, you’re not out drunk driving, and God forbid you will go out and kill someone, so the court is primarily interested in determining what type of monitoring is most appropriate to make sure that you are not drinking and driving. The type of monitoring really is quite broad that is available to the court. That can include anything from you’re word to staying at home with an alcohol interlock device on your home phone. The mid way point would be to have some type of random testing, such as breath testing or urine testing.
You may be required to do that on a daily basis or you may be required on a random basis. There is also called a SCRAM bracelet, which is the subject of another video, where you can watch and learn more about the SCRAM bracelet. The SCRAM bracelet is another option as is a breath alcohol interlock device. That’s the type of alcohol interlock that you have to have on your car. In which you have to blow into in order to operate the vehicle.
Our job with regard with the conditions of bond, is to make the conditions as least restrictive and least costly to you so that you are able to go about your daily business, get to work, and not have too much interference or too much cost.
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