A criminal trial for drunk driving charges is similar to those of other criminal matters. If you don't plead guilty to the charges placed against you, it is likely that you will find yourself facing a trial before a jury of your peers. This trial has several specific components that you must be prepared for. Discussing each of these points with your legal representation can help you to be sure you have a comprehensive defense strategy.
Are there ways to avoid a jury trial?
You can avoid a jury trial by presenting a guilty or no contest plea to the charges against you. It is also possible for you to enter into a plea agreement in order to resolve the case before a jury trial occurs.
What happens if there is a jury trial in my case?
A jury will be chosen for the case. This is when both sides of the case or the judge can exclude jurors from the case. Once the jury is chosen, each side will present an opening statement. After that, both sides of the case can call witnesses, present evidence and cross examine what the other side does. When all evidence is presented and all witnesses have been called, it is time for closing arguments. This is the last chance for both sides to present their cases. The case is then in the jury's hands.
What happens when the case is handed to the jury?
The jury must follow the instructions presented to them. When the jury has reached a verdict, it is presented to the court. The judge will deliver the verdict. If the jury found the defendant guilty, the case moves to sentencing. If the jury found the defendant not guilty, the case is dismissed.
Source: FindLaw, "DUI Trial," accessed April 22, 2016