DUI Initial Court Appearances in Chester County

Following a DUI arrest and charge in Chester County, you will have to endure the drawn-out and arduous criminal prosecution process. While going through each phase of this process, one thing is certain: you'll be in court a lot. Within 30 days of an arrest, you'll likely receive a summons in the mail to appear in court (or issued a warrant depending on the type of DUI), unless otherwise indicated by an attorney, judge or law enforcement. Some of these court dates aren't optional. In fact, many scheduled court dates are mandatory for defendants, with or without representation.

This is one of the most difficult aspects of a criminal charge for defendants with many obligations, busy lives, careers, and families. But deciding to not attend a court date may not be worth it in any circumstance. If a person fails to appear at a mandatory court date, they can face an immediate bench warrant, and get bail and bond conditions stripped. Also, if law enforcement finds you and brings you to court, the chances of being released by bail or bond are very slim the second time around.

You should always appear in court if you don't have representation. But retaining legal counsel is important with a DUI charge. One of the advantages of having an attorney is having one sit in for you in some court appearances. This way, you can take care of your obligations outside of the courtroom, while they do most of the legwork. Aside from being in court a lot less, defendants with skilled representation also have increased chances of success in court.

If you have been charged with a DUI in Chester County, and don't know what your next steps are, this article will give you some insight. We'll address all of the relevant details concerning court appearances in the county. For more information about your specific case, or how to get representation, contact skilled DUI attorney Joseph D. Lento today.

Court Information

In Chester County, the first appearance in court for a DUI is called a “preliminary hearing.” In this hearing, the judge will gauge the validity of the prosecution's evidence and will decide whether or not it is necessary for the case to progress. A preliminary hearing will be scheduled in the district the alleged crime took place.

If the case progresses past the district court level, the court dates and other relevant information will be available at the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County in West Chester. Reaching out to the district court, the clerk's office, or an experienced attorney is the only way to confirm that your court dates are correct.

Rescheduling Court Dates

With the help of an experienced attorney, and with prior notice, it is possible for court dates to be rescheduled in Chester County. Judges have been known to grant continuances for several reasons, including attorney or client unavailability.

Arraignment - Filing a Plea

After a preliminary hearing, the case will advance to the arraignment stage. If a defendant and an attorney decide that pleading “not guilty” is the best decision, this matter will advance through the court and ultimately be resolved by either a dismissal, a guilty plea, or a guilty verdict. Overall, all cases at this level will either be sent to trial or to a county diversion program, like the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program.

Chester County Criminal Defense Attorney

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has represented numerous clients who've acquired both misdemeanor and felony DUI charges in Chester County. He understands that every case calls for planning, strategizing, and attention to detail, so you should seek help immediately. Time is of the essence. If you've been charged with a DUI in Chester County and are uncertain about what to do next, contact Joseph D. Lento today online or give him a call at (215) 535-5353 at the earliest available opportunity for assistance.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has nearly a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania and New Jersey attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, Outside of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance is educational advice, and does not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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