Spokane DUI Court Monday at 3 pm? – Here’s What to Expect!

People arrested over the weekend for DUI in Spokane are typically cited by the officer and told to appear in court at on Monday. Here is what you can expect at that 3 p.m. Monday court date.  

DUI and other misdemeanors are usually heard in the public safety building behind the old picturesque courthouse.

Where to go:

Usually the ticket from the officer tells you to go to courtroom 1.  This courtroom is in the public safety building behind the Spokane County courthouse.  You have to go through court security to get inside, so come early because there is sometimes a line.  Leave any unnecessary belongings in your car because the metal detector can be quite sensitive.  You will be asked to take off your belt before you go through.  The actual courtroom is on the east side of the building up a long flight of stairs on the mezzanine. Dockets listing everyone’s name are  posted outside the courtroom.

What will happen:

The judge will go through the docket and do a roll call to see who is present.  Usually the judge will take the cases that have private attorneys first.  This first court date us usually call a “first appearance” or “preliminary appearance” or sometimes a “bail hearing.”  The purpose of the hearing is to make sure there is probable cause for the charge, to set conditions of release, and to see if a defendant will be needing a public defender.

— Probable case:

Typically the prosecutor will read (or summarize) a police report and will ask the judge to find probable cause for a charge of DUI.  This hearing does not require proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  People often feel as if the officer makes some exaggerations or embellishments.  However, this is not the time for you to tell your side.  It is best to say as little as possible until you can talk to an attorney.  The judge will tell you this too if you try to speak about the incident.  If the judge finds that there is probable cause for the offense, then he or she will set conditions of release.

— Conditions of release:

The judge will order you to obey all laws and to not drink alcohol until you get your DUI case resolved.  If you have a prior history of DUI charges, the prosecutor may ask that you be held on bail, or he may ask that you sign up for random urinalysis tests to determine if you have been drinking.  Also, you may be ordered to wear an alcohol monitoring bracelet on your ankle.  The judge may ask that you remain in the State until your case is resolved.  So if you work in North Idaho, or have good cause to leave the state, now is the time to let the judge know this.  Often times a person will be asked about their ties to the community.  A judge doesn’t want a defendant fleeing the state.  So you may be asked how long you have lived in the area, or if you have a job or family or own property in the State.  The judge will fill out this form and ask you to sign it.  You will be given a copy to take with you.

— Appointment of an attorney:

If you are asking that an attorney be appointed at public expense, you will be asked to fill out a form that asks you about your income and assets.  If you qualify for a public defender you will be told how to contact him or her.  There are usually public defenders present in court that will offer assistance.  If you will be hiring a lawyer, the judge will usually give you a week or two to get this done before the next court date.

The next step:

The next step is usually to meet with your lawyer.  The lawyer will request a copy of the police reports, and may seek out other information.  Sometimes the police will have video from a dashcam in their car, or a video camera in the jail.  Occasionally a security camera will capture the DUI stop itself.  Attorneys will sometimes request a copy of the radio traffic of the officer discussing the case with dispatch.  It is important  to request such information right away so the file is not recorded over.

For more information on DUI, visit our website, or our other articles on deferred prosecutions, marijuana DUI, DUI under .08.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR….
Photo of Steve Graham Steve Graham is a criminal defense lawyer, and he splits his time between Spokane and Seattle, Washington. Visit his website by clicking: www.grahamdefense.com
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