If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Whatcom County you can expect to appear in court within days or even hours of your processing.  Obviously it is critical you contact a Bellingham criminal defense attorney immediately to discuss your case and options.  However, probably the first thing on your mind is court.  Court in Bellingham can be intimidating.  The first formal court date, called the arraignment, is a time for you to be advised of the charge, the potential penalties, your Constitutional Rights, and for you to enter a plea (not guilty).  However, the arraignment is also where the Court (the Judge) may impose sanctions or conditions of your release.  Such conditions for a DUI typically include no consumption of alcohol or drugs (unless prescribed), to not drive unless properly licensed and insured, and to stay out of bars and taverns.  The Judge may also decide more severe sanctions, depending on the facts of your case or more importantly, your criminal history.

If you have been previously arrested for DUI the Judge will order you to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle within 5 days.  Additionally, the Judge in Bellingham Municipal Court or Whatcom District Court will order you to report to Whatcom County Probation for “pretrial probation monitoring.”  Such an order will require you to meet with Probation once every month during the pendency of your DUI case.  The Probation department will also require you to submit to random urinalysis testing (UAs) to ensure compliance with the Court Order of no consumption of alcohol or drugs.

Finally, if you have more than one prior DUI (or extensive criminal history) the Prosecutor may request Bail.  A request for bail is asking the Judge to place you into custody (Jail) unless you can post Bail.  The idea is that posting bail will make it more likely that you will follow the Judge’s orders and stay out of trouble.  If the Court orders Bail you must be ready to post it.  If such a situation arises it is wise to be in immediate contact with a local Bellingham bail bonds company.

As always, it is strongly advised you seek counsel from a local and experienced 
Bellingham DUI attorney prior to your arraignment.  The advice you obtain may save you at your arraignment.

Arraignments for DUI in Bellingham

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