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Rhode Island DUI Court Process



When anyone charged with a crime in Rhode Island is arrested, the police officers who arrest them are required to inform them of the charges against them and bring the defendant before a magistrate. Typically, this must be done within 72 hours of the arrest.

The typical DUI case in Rhode Island is a misdemeanor and is tried in district court; felonies are tried in superior court.  Misdemeanor cases tried in district court can be appealed to superior court if the defendant gives notice that he or she wishes to do so within 5 days of the final verdict.

The court can require various things from the defendant before allowing them to be released on bail, ranging from a promise to appear (which is known as “release upon one’s own recognizances”) to restrictions on the defendant’s behavior, to a bond which the defendant must forfeit to the court if he or she fails to appear when called.

Every person charged with a criminal offense in Rhode Island is entitled to a jury trial.