The arrest and legal process behind DUI charges is carried out according to specific laws. This ensures fair hearings for the defendant and that all people have the ability to make their case before the law. Many people are unsure of what the DUI arrest and trial process in the State of Arizona is, which is why we want to go over the court hearing side right now.
When you meet with a DUI lawyer, you will be able to learn much more about all of your legal options. What follows below should give you some indication of what to expect if you are arrested and charged with drunk driving.
Within 24 hours of arrest and incarceration, you will generally be given a preliminary hearing. This is simply for a judge to set bail and to determine if there is sufficient evidence for this particular case to proceed to trial.
Arraignment is the part of the process in which a defendant is formally charged in court. The defendant can plea guilty, not guilty, or no contest (which is basically the same as a guilty plea). If a not guilty plea is entered, the process continues.
During the pre-trial conference, your DUI defense lawyer meets with the prosecutor. Negotiations are made, and the State may present your DUI defense lawyer with a deal of some kind, usually involving reduced penalties. The defendant is not present during this particular meeting, so it is incumbent upon the defense lawyer to meet with his or her client and go over the advantages and disadvantages of the deal.
During the evidentiary hearing, the DUI defense attorney will present evidence regarding the nature of the arrest and discuss various legal and procedural matters with regard to the case if it proceeds to trial. The defendant is not present, though the arresting officer and various witnesses may testify.
The actual DUI trial itself will involve a trial by a jury of one’s peers. Proceedings will go by as usual. Defendants can also waive their right to a trial by jury and opt for a bench trial, in which a judge will make the final ruling. Your attorney will advise you on the best option given your situation, though in general, a trial by jury is better.
Having skilled DUI defense lawyers on your side shows that you are serious about your innocence and are willing to fight your conviction. Our team understands all of the ins and outs of Arizona law. We will carefully consider all of your legal options, and will also help negotiate a solid deal with the prosecutor before your case even goes to trial. In many instances, taking the deal is preferable to the actual trial itself, though if we proceed to trial, we will fight for you each step of the way.
If you would like to learn more about all of your legal options following a DUI arrest, be sure to contact our Tempe and Phoenix DUI lawyers today. The entire team here looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you make wise decisions during each step of the legal process.