The DUI Trial
What is the process?
If you have been arrested for a Washington DUI and the prosecution refuses to negotiate or plea bargain to reduce or dismiss your charge in the pretrial hearing, your case will go to trial. You can have either a jury trial or a "bench trial." A bench trial has no jurors and your case is heard and the sentence decided by the judge. In both types of trials, both the prosecution and defense have the opportunity to present their evidence and testimony. The burden of proof lies on the prosecution to clearly show that you were driving under the influence and if they cannot do so, your charges must be dismissed.
For more information about the steps and procedure of a DUI trial speak with a Seattle DUI attorney at DUI Heroes.
A jury trial begins with the selection of a panel of six jurors. This process is called "voir dire" and both sides can affect which jurors are chosen. In a DUI trial, it is important to realize that the jury must reach a unanimous decision to either acquit or convict the defendant or it becomes a "hung jury." The prosecution must clearly prove that the accused is guilty of the DUI charge and if they cannot provide sufficient testimony and evidence to support the charges, the jury must find the defendant "not-guilty." As a team of experienced and skilled DUI lawyers, we are very familiar with the many ways the prosecution's case and evidence can be challenged and argued against both outside and inside the courtroom.
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After the jury hears opening arguments, the prosecution presents its case. They begin by calling their witnesses including the arresting officer, other witnesses at the scene, and any experts involved in testing the BAC of the defendant. An aggressive and well-prepared cross-examination of the witnesses by a competent defense attorney could result in the prosecution's case falling apart. If it proves necessary, the defense can call its witnesses and present evidence on your behalf. After closing arguments, the jury is sent off to reach their verdict. Their decision must be unanimous to either acquit or convict.
Contact an experienced Seattle DUI lawyer for a vigorous and well-prepared DUI defense if your case needs to go to trial.