If you receive DUI charges, you might be worried about the case being dragged through the courts and having to deal with the DUI for longer than necessary. How about the right to a speedy trial?
Generally, the answer is no. The right to a speedy trial does not apply to charges in state courts. Additionally, there might be several reasons why any DUI court date might continue longer than you care for.
Reasons Why Your DUI Charge Court Date Might Be Continued?
Some of the most common reasons why there is not speedy handling in DUI charges include:
- The officer involved not having turned in the necessary paperwork/report to the District Attorney
- The state crime lab may still be processing evidence
- You might not have received discovery yet
- More than one officer was on the case, and the court appearance dates are not on the same schedule
As you can see, several situations and things need to align for a DUI charges case to be ready for trial. Working with your attorney to thoroughly prepare yourself while giving your attorney time also to get prepared is essential. A speedy trial is not always a good thing. Although you ideally want to be over and done with legal cases and move on, rushing to the finish line might allow room for error.
It can take time to gather all the evidence and witnesses needed to defend your case.
Remember that when fighting a DUI charge, there can be many complicated issues that arise, so working with your attorney will give you the best chance at defending yourself.
Possible Ways to Fight Your DUI Charge
Although driving under the influence and getting caught can appear a straightforward case, there are many tools your attorney can use to defend you.
- Did the officer on the case violate any of your rights during the interaction?
- Did the involved officer have reasonable suspicion to stop your car?
- Is there enough proof for the state to charge you with DUI beyond a reasonable doubt?
- Did the officer adhere to all policies and procedures when testing you for a DUI?
- Did the officer obtain a warrant (if necessary) before obtaining a sample from you?
An attorney will identify when and how possible evidence against you can be thrown out of the window. More often than not, a DUI is a misdemeanor offense which means that anyone accused of a DUI has the right to a jury trial.
At this point, we should mention that in most cases, DUI charges do not end up in court but instead are handled through plea bargaining.
However, if you and your attorney take your case to court, here is what to expect.
What to Expect in a Trial by Jury or Judge?
Anyone dealing with any charges is generally entitled to a DUI charges trial by jury. In some cases, certain people might waive their right to go to trial by a jury and choose a trial by judge (also known as ‘bench trial”).
The only difference between the two trials is who gets to decide if you are guilty or not guilty.
For a jury trial, the first thing that needs to happen is the selection of the jury. The selection begins with the prosecution and the defense questioning potential people for the jury. During this process, each side gets an opportunity to dismiss jurors they do not deem appropriate for the case. Jurors can never be dismissed based on race, ethnicity, or gender. Instead, other reasons might be considered, such as related to the potential parties involved, etc.
For any juror to move to the next phase of the trial, the judge has to ‘swear them in’ first.
Once the jury is selected, the next step is for the defense and the prosecution to make opening statements to the jury. This is an opportunity for your attorney to set the ‘mood’ and let the jury know what to expect during the trial.
During a DUI trial, the prosecution has the ‘burden’ of proving the charges against the defendant. The proof needs to cover their claim beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the prosecution needs to provide strong evidence that cannot be argued against by the defendant.
If the prosecution cannot provide evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, the presumption of proof will require the jury to find the defendant not guilty.
This is where a professional DUI attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
In most DUI cases, the most critical point is proof of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and whether it exceeded the legal limit, which is set at 0.8% at the time of the arrest. DUI trials generally take on average one to two days for all the evidence to be presented before the jury is called to make a decision.
Once both parties have presented all the evidence they have at hand, closing arguments is time. Typically, this is an opportunity for both prosecution and defendant to revisit the most vital points and remind the jury of their case.
In other words, closing arguments is your last chance to convince the jury of your innocence in your DUI charges.
Contact us today, and we will assist you with your DUI charges. Having an experienced DUI attorney by your site will have a substantial impact on your case. If you are unsure where to begin, call us for a free consultation, and we will answer any questions you might have.