Overview of a DUI Case and What Happens When It Goes to Trial
Facing a DUI charge can be an overwhelming experience. You may have many concerns such as whether or not you will be able to retain your driver’s license, how long it will take for your case to go to trial and what potential legal penalties you may face. Therefore, if you have been charged with a DUI, it is in your best interest to have an experienced DUI lawyer on your side to vigorously represent you and fight for your rights.
Every DUI case is unique and has a distinct set of circumstances. However, the legal process is largely the same. Courts generally govern the entire process from the initial charge to the time when your DUI case goes to trial.
Below is an overview of the different stages of a DUI case and under what circumstances the case may go to trial:
Summons and Complaint: This is a document that states the charges against you. It will also include the date you are required to appear in court. Your lawyer may decide to move this date forward in order to give you additional time.
Arraignment: This is a formal procedure where the presiding judge will advise you of your rights, obligations and possible penalties associated with the DUI charge against you. During this period, you will enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty.
Pre-Trial Discovery: During this stage, your attorney will review all documents produced by the State regarding your case and determine if your legal rights have been violated. The prosecutor is the representative of the State in a DUI case. Under the law, the State must give your lawyer all relevant material and evidence that it has gathered against you, including:
- Police reports
- Video recordings of the sobriety tests and/or arrest
- Witness statements
- Audio recordings
- Scientific documents pertaining to the DUI breathalyzer machine
- Any other evidence produced by the State in your case
Status Conferences: This is where the prosecutor and your DUI lawyer meet and talk about discovery or other issues related to your case. In addition, they may also talk with the judge about your case.
Pre-Trial Motions: This motion is made by your attorney in order to seek specific relief in your case. For instance, your attorney may file one or more motions that involve issues regarding suppression of evidence, production of discovery, and dismissing or prohibiting testimony. These motions are usually made orally before the court.
The Trial: This is the stage when you case goes to trial. This happens if your case was not resolved or dismissed before the trial or the district attorneys were unable to offer a reasonable plea resolution. Your trial will be held in the Municipal Court district where your DUI ticket was issued. Typically, your case will go before a single municipal court judge. The prosecutor will present evidence and possibly call witnesses for the State. Your attorney will provide evidence and introduce witness testimony in your defense. The presiding Judge will listen to both parties and make a determination as to your guilt or innocence.
Contact an Experienced DUI Lawyer
If you have been charged with a DUI, it is important that you hire a highly skilled and experienced DUI attorney. At the Law Offices of Joel Silberman, our DUI defense attorneys have extensive knowledge and the necessary experience and skills to handle any DUI matter. We build the best possible defense on your behalf in order to fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Call 201-420-1913 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.