After a DUI Arrest in Colorado: Booking and Arraignment

If you are arrested in Colorado on suspicion of drunk driving, the next two steps you’ll face in the criminal process are booking and arraignment. You should contact an experienced Colorado DUI defense attorney as soon as you can during or after this process. In the meantime, it is wise to exercise your Miranda rights by saying nothing to the police unless an attorney is present to help you.

The “booking” process is used to place a person in jail. Typically, during booking, your fingerprints will be taken. A DNA sample may also be taken; in many cases, DNA samples are taken by using a cotton swab that is rubbed inside the cheek. Any personal items you have with you at your arrest, like your clothing, wallet, or jewelry, will be inventoried. You may also be photographed and your identifying information, like name or address, written down.

Depending on the jail’s procedures, you may be kept overnight or for several hours before your arraignment. The arraignment is the formal court procedure that informs you of the actual criminal charges you face. You have the chance to enter a plea during the arraignment; most people plead not-guilty at this time, and it’s wise to do so in order to preserve your right to go to trial and contest your charges.

The court may also set bail or bond, which is an amount that can be posted so that you can leave jail before your next court date. If you don’t show up for court, you forfeit the bail amount. Whether bail is set and for how much depends on the court’s analysis of the charges against you at your arraignment. Your defense attorney can help you argue in favor of a reasonable bail amount that you can pay.

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