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 For many people, getting arrested for a DUI is their first brush with the law. The legal process for a DUI can be very stressful and confusing. It is important to know what to expect in the unfortunate event that you are arrested for a DUI. 

After getting arrested, you will most likely be taken into custody and booked. The booking process means that a police officer will do things like check out your criminal history, take your fingerprints or photographs, and confiscate your personal property. You may also be placed either in a holding cell or jail. In some cases, you might be allowed to post bail immediately. In other cases, you may have to wait until an arraignment, where the judge will determine the bail amount. 

The arraignment is the very first stage of the court process. You should be arraigned within a few days after the arrest. Under New York law, the person charged with a crime must appear in person at the arraignment, except under very limited circumstances.

So, what happens at the arraignment? During this proceeding, you will be called before a judge. The judge will then inform you of the charges against you. The judge will ask whether you have an attorney or intend to hire one, or if you would like to have one appointed for you. Next, the judge will ask how you plead to the charge: not guilty, guilty, or no contest. The judge will set bail if it has not already been set. Finally, the judge will give you dates of any future court hearings. Typically, the prosecutor will also give you copies of any documents related to your case, such as police reports.

The arraignment may be the first and last time you are in the courtroom. The reason for this is that many people charged with a DUI choose to accept a plea bargain. A plea bargain is when someone accused of a crime pleads guilty to a charge or charges in exchange for other charges being dismissed and/or for a more lenient sentence.

Consider speaking with a criminal defense attorney before accepting a plea bargain. An attorney who has experience in defending DUIs can evaluate the evidence in your case and help you make informed decisions about what to do next. 

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