DUI Trial Process
DUI Trial Process – Atlanta DUI Attorneys , Georgia DUI Lawyers
DUI (driving under the influence) and DWI (driving while intoxicated) are a highly common occurrence throughout the country and one of the most complex processes to navigate within the justice system. A professional dui-dwi lawyer should be consulted every step of the way as each state has varying laws and regulations. These are the most common stages of this process:
The arrest must follow a very specific set of guidelines from probable cause to intoxication tests and lab reports. These are all very important pieces of evidence which will come into play later on in the hearings. As such, both the defendant and officer must take note of everything that takes place. After the arrest, the first hearing is most likely an arraignment. The judge will read the charges against the defendant and ask for a plead of innocence or guilt. In this stage a dui-dwi attorney can inform the defendant on their options if one has already been hired. The judge may also decide whether to lower the bail amount or release the defendant on their own recognizance. If the defendant does not have a dui-dwi attorney they may be eligible for a government-appointed public defender to fulfill their right to the assistance of counsel.
The preliminary hearing will allow the judge time to consult the evidence produced by the prosecutor to decide if there is reasonable cause for trial by jury. If the offense is merely a misdemeanor, many times a preliminary hearing will not take place. This is also the time in which the defendant and their attorney may begin reviewing the evidence and witnesses that may be involved in the trial. Plea bargaining may happen at this point if the defendant feels that pleading guilty for a more lenient sentence will be beneficial. It is important to note that some states will not allow plea bargaining for DWI’s and DUI’s.
The time and place of the pre-trial will be set at the preliminary hearings. The pre-trial is a time in which both the prosecutor and dui-dwi lawyer may go over evidence and witnesses, deciding if any should be kept out of the trial. This can range from striking incriminating statements from the record to refuting blood-alcohol test results. If the officer in charge of the arrest broke any laws during the arrest, the prosecutor may ask that said officer’s statements and findings are kept out of the trial.
At this point, many DUI cases will simply result in fines, community service, incarceration, and plea bargaining. If not, the trial will take place in which the defense and prosecutor will present evidence, witnesses and arguments for their side. After this has taken place the judge or jury, if a jury was in fact called for the trial, will consider the arguments and make a sentence. Depending on the severity of the DWI, the sentence can range from small fines to long jail terms if injuries or death took place.
The defendant and their attorney may make appeals to lower or remove the sentencing. A professional dui-dwi attorney will not only expedite the process, but allow the defendant a better chance of a fair and comprehensive trial.