Can I waive my appearance at my arraignment for a DWI?

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"Hiring Adam was the best decision after I was charged with 4 tickets for a DWI. It took Adam just one court appearance to convert all the tickets into a minor DWAI with minimum charges. He always made sure I was relaxed and he would take care of me like a younger brother. I've no words to thank him for what he has done for me!" *****

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"Adam is an AWESOME attorney! I never been in trouble with the law and after getting pulled over on the holiday was charged with a DWI. I was scared and terrified. Adam told me, I would be okay and he would fight for me. Which he did. He got my misdemeanor charge down to a traffic infraction of a DWAI. Which is a non criminal charge. I am very thankful and blessed. I'm a healthcare professional and a misdemeanor would have affected my career. He is honest, a good listener, very funny and keeps you updated in regards to your case. He contacts you in reasonable time and works hard on your case. He doesn't mind when you call asking a lot of questions. Also, he is very affordable and will work with. Forget the rest, hire best. Adam is the best." *****

Can I waive my appearance at my arraignment for a DWI?

Today I appeared in Brighton Town Court, representing a client on a DWI charge. My client lives out of state, so I asked the judge to waive his appearance.

P. Adam Militello, Esq.
P. Adam Militello, Esq.

In Monroe County, these types of appearance waivers are granted pretty regularly for defendants who don't live in New York. The thing that made this request different was that:

(1) I requested an appearance waiver at an arraignment;

(2) it's a DWI arraignment.

Judges typically want defendants present at arraignments, because it is when defendants are read the charges against them, and when many of their rights are explained. New York's Criminal Procedure Law allows defendants to waive their right to appear at arraignment, but that doesn't mean the judge has to accept the waiver.

I try to increase the likelihood that a judge will grant our request for an appearance waiver by having our client sign a detailed affidavit before a Notary Public. The affidavit outlines the pending charges, states the many rights our client possesses (so that the judge knows the defendant is informed), and it grants us the power to enter a not-guilty plea on our client's behalf.

In DWI cases, judges also want defendants to appear because the judge usually needs to seize the defendant's drivers license. In the case of an out-of-state license holder, however, there is no license seizure.

In this instance, our request was granted. The judge accepted the appearance waiver and it saved our client hundreds of dollars in airline tickets and hotel rooms.

If you are facing a DWI charge in Rochester, but you live out of state and need to choose a local lawyer, call The Militello Law Firm for a free consultation by phone. My number is (585) 485-0025.

The Militello Law Firm
2480 Browncroft Boulevard
Rochester, New York 14625
Phone: (585) 485-0025 Fax: (585) 286-3128