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What to Expect at a DUI Trial

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The usual duration of a DUI trial ranges from 3 to 5 days. Most of the DUI trials are jury trials, while some of them are court trials. A court trial includes only one person to make the final decision, whereas the jury trial consists of 12 people. That being said, it is believed that a jury trial is more favorable for a person to be charged with a DUI offense. If this is your first DUI, then read on to learn more about what you can possibly expect during a DUI trial.

The Jury Trial

Usually, the jury trial comprises 12 people who initiate the trial with an opening statement about what they will prove during the trial. Typically, your DUI lawyer will also give an opening statement opposing the prosecution’s argument. Depending on your DUI attorney, they might also withhold their account until the trial begins.

The arresting officer will describe the condition of the stop, the pharmacologist will explain the result of your drug test. In the case of other witnesses, they will also step forward and testify against the accused. The defense lawyer will typically call for his witnesses to rebut the alcohol test and other facts. Lastly, the defendant will be called as a witness to explain the situation.

After representing all evidence, the defense attorney and the prosecution will have their turns to make their closing and rebuttal arguments before the jury. Lastly, the jury will come up with a final verdict to your case. Before the jury-deliberation, the judge will typically pass on some vital instructions according to legal standards. The jury follows those lawful instructions before reaching a final conclusion.

The Option of Pre-Trial Counseling

After analyzing your case, the DUI lawyer might recommend a pre-trial treatment. This option might be the best for you and place you in a favorable position with your prosecutor. Taking a pre-counseling session (AA meeting) will allow the DUI lawyer to illustrate to the judge and the prosecutor that their client acknowledges the issue to be addressed. It does not necessarily indicate that you are guilty.

Possible Penalty if Found Guilty

In case you are found guilty, you can expect a harsher sentence that will be according to the level of your DUI charge. Even if it is your first DUI offense, the possibility of a reduced sentence is off the table. If the judge finds the accuser lying and denying the crime by opting for trial instead of pleading guilty, the penalty can even be increased.

Dismissal of the DUI Charge

In some situations, the DUI charge can also be dismissed. For instance, when the prosecutor fails to provide sufficient evidence for your blood alcohol level. Even the breath-testing machine might have malfunctioned and initiated a baseless DUI charge. A re-examination of your blood test might indicate a much-lower alcohol level. In any of such situations, the case will be challenging to process and hence dismissed.

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