A DUI arrest in Spokane usually triggers a First Appearance court hearing the next business day. At this initial hearing the judge will read your rights and the consequences of a DUI conviction, which may include jail time, fines, loss of driver’s license, ignition interlock device, SR-22 insurance and alcohol/drug treatment.

Next, the judge will call each case individually. If you already have an attorney, then your attorney will speak on your behalf. The prosecutor will summarize the police report so the judge can decide whether the evidence supports the DUI allegation. This is not a trial, so there’s no need to bring witnesses to this hearing.

A First Appearance can also be an Arraignment Hearing where you enter a Not Guilty plea. This plea preserves all your rights, including the right to a jury trial. It also allows you to review the evidence, investigate suppression motions and possibly negotiate a resolution that avoids a DUI conviction.

Judges are required to impose Release Conditions at these hearings. These conditions prohibit certain behaviors. Usually, these restrictions are simple, like don’t violate any criminal laws. But sometimes you’ll be required to install the ignition interlock device or submit to random drug testing. If you violate these conditions the judge could order you to come to court and might book you into jail.

At the end of your First Appearance the judge will schedule your next court appearance called a Pre-trial Hearing. This will be approximately one month later. Most DUI cases have several Pre-trial Hearings occurring monthly until the case resolves.

Remember a DUI allegation in Washington State usually triggers two separate cases: the criminal court case and a separate Department of Licensing case. The experienced DUI attorneys at Cooney Law Offices can guide you to the best possible resolution. Cooney Law Offices. We can help!