If you have been charged with a DUI, you have probably already been arrested. If so, the court will not issue a warrant in your case. On rare occasions, the court will issue a warrant for a DUI arrest after an investigation if their is probable cause to believe you have committed a DUI.
If you have been arrested for a DUI after a DUI investigation, the arresting officer will set a bond according to a pre-set bond schedule. This bond will stay in effect until you see a judge the following morning. The law says that you must see a judge within 24 hours of your arrest. This hearing is called an “advisory.”
At the advisory hearing, the judge will tell you what you have been charged with. Sometimes, he will ask you how you plead to the charge, guilty, not guilty, or no contest. However, even if you want to plead guilty or no contest, the judge will probably not accept your plea at the advisory hearing. He will probably ask you if you have an attorney, if you plan on hiring an attorney, or if you would like an attorney appointed to you by the court.
The judge will then review your bond. If it’s your 1st DUI, the court should set your bond low, or set it at nothing. If it’s nothing, the will release you on your own recognizance, otherwise known as ROR. For a 2nd DUI or higher, your bond will probably be significantly higher.
Once you bond out or are released on your own recognizance, the clerk of the court will set a court date for you. If you have hired an attorney, he can appear to the court date on your behalf. If you do not have an attorney, you must appear at the court date yourself.
If you fail to appear at the court hearing, the court will issue a “capias” or bench warrant. After issuing the warrant, the judge will set a bond amount. Typically this bond will be higher than your original bond. Once this happens, the whole process begins again.