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The first court appearance is the arraignment. There, the defendant has the charges explained and enters a plea.
A DWI is definitely something an individual should retain an attorney for.
If a defendant has not yet retained an attorney, the defendant may request a continuance to consult with an attorney. Alternatively, the defendant may ask the court to appoint an attorney at the arraignment, should the defendant be unable to afford one.
While I can control the quality of an answer, my control over the content of an answer is restrained by the truth. Please do not shoot the messenger.
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