Once an individual receives a subpoena to appear in court, unless otherwise indicated by their attorney and/or the court itself, the individual must appear after they have been arrested and charged with a DUI. If an individual fails to appear at a required court date, with or without an attorney, the individual can face an immediate bench warrant and suspension of any bail or bond conditions. Consequently, once the individual is picked up, the likelihood of getting bond or bail a second time is low.
Without the express consent of an attorney and/or the court, in Bucks County, an individual should always appear in court. After an experienced Bucks County lawyer gets involved, that attorney can often save the client many court appearances by waiving their presence formally and the attorney can appear on their behalf. Unrepresented individuals, however, may not fail to appear for any hearings.
In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, an individual can obtain a court date for a preliminary hearing directly from the district court in which the individual is being charged. If the case has passed the district court level, court dates and all other necessary information would be available at the Bucks County main courthouse in Doylestown. Additionally, some websites also allow an individual to verify court date; however, like in the remainder of Pennsylvania, those websites do not guarantee their accuracy and can often be misleading because they may provide old court dates. Reaching out to the district court, the clerk’s office in Doylestown, or an experienced local attorney are the only real means to guarantee an individual has the correct court dates and does not violate any conditions of bond as a result of missing court.
With enough notice and the use of an experienced criminal defense attorney, court dates can be changed in Bucks County. Continuances are granted for many reasons, such as attorney availability, further preparation for trials, and/or the unavailability of a client on a particular date. Unrepresented individuals must always appear in court. Should an individual fail to appear, a bench warrant for their arrest will be issued and any conditions of bail or bond will be lost. Having an experienced attorney on your side can expedite any change or court date. An attorney, without his or her client, can petition the court to move a court date to a more amicable time and guarantees that the individual can be prepared for the case.
If the accused, through the use of their attorney, at the arraignment stage or district court level, enters an immediate plea of ‘not guilty,’ the matter will proceed through the court and ultimately be concluded by an acquittal, a guilty plea, or a guilty verdict after trial at the court of common pleas level in Doylestown. An attorney petitioning the court by motion and entering a ‘not guilty’ plea is common practice in Bucks County. All cases at the arraignment level will be sent to trial or to a diversionary program without any plea whatsoever.
While it is not necessary to enter a plea in the early stages of the case, doing so can help in moving the matter through the criminal justice system in Bucks County. An experienced DUI attorney makes it more likely that an individual is informed to make the right pleading decision in their case. This can save them from an embarrassing incarceration sentence and limit the number of court dates, which often affect an individual’s livelihood.