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Waiving a DWI Court Appearance - Is it Possible?
Judges will sometimes waive a defendant's appearance in court, particularly if the defendant lives out of state. Your case will continue, but you don't necessarily have to travel hundreds of miles for court appearances.
In Monroe County, these types of appearance waivers are granted pretty regularly for defendants who don't live in New York.
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 those cases a local court judge can suspend the defendant's privilege to drive in New York, but cannot take their out-of-state license.
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.