Your court case begins with a DUI/DWI arrest, followed by court proceedings and then sentencing. Trials for DUI are very rare. Most cases end with a guilty plea. DUI court proceedings usually include arraignment, a preliminary hearing and sentencing.
The first step in any court proceeding is arraignment. Typically in DUI/DWI court proceedings this is the only court appearance. Most people accused of driving under the influence chose to plead guilty.
If a plea of not guilty is given to the court the next step is a preliminary hearing. At the preliminary hearing the prosecutor presents the judge will the information that will be used against you at trial. At this proceeding the judge is not deciding if you are innocent or guilty. The judge is only deciding if there is enough evidence against you for a trial. Your attorney will receive copies of all the information against you.
After a preliminary hearing your case can still be decided outside of a trial with a plea bargain between the prosecutor and your attorney. If there is no plea bargain, your case will go to a criminal trial.
After you plead guilty or it is decided at a trial there will be a sentencing hearing. At this proceeding you will appear before the judge and they will decide your sentence. Sentencing varies based on the severity of the offense and if it was a repeat offense. Penalties include fines, jail time, suspension of the license, DUI or alcohol education programs and community service.