Although DUI jury trial process and procedures vary from court to court. The following is a rough blueprint of the typical DUI jury trial process explained.
Motions Used in a DUI Jury Trial Process
Motions in Limine and "housekeeping" items: The first thing that typically takes place is a discussion, typically on the record, about the ground rules of the DUI trial. The process of setting basic parameters for who testifies and how allowed. Also decided is who is allowed to remain in the courtroom and who is excluded, and many other issues depending on the case.
More motions after opening statements: After the State rests its case, the defense may make a motion to dismiss if it believes that all of the evidence needed to secure a conviction had improper presentation.
Jury Process in a DUI Jury Trial Process
Jury Selection: In jury trials, a jury is typically brought in towards the beginning. Within the jury selection process, or otherwise known as voir dire, can last anywhere from an hour to several days. That is to say, depending on the court you are appearing at. Asking the jurors questions by the Judge, the lawyers or both, and from these answers the lawyers will assess which jurors they want to challenge.
Jury Instructions: The judge must instruct the jury on how to decide the case. It is a process to read the written instructions into record. The jury will get copies of the instructions when they retire to the jury room to deliberate.
Deliberations: The jury is typically given whatever time they need to reach a decision.
Opening and Closing Statements in a DUI Jury Trial Process
Opening Statements: Each side will make an opening statement designed to give the jury a preview of things to come.
The State's Case: The state goes first in putting on its evidence. This is because the state has the burden of proof, as a DUI is a criminal charge.
The Defense Case: If the Defense chooses to put on a case, the DUI defense lawyer calls witnesses.
Closing Arguments: Entitlement to each side to argue their case. The prosecutor goes first. Then the defense attorney has their turn. Then the prosecutor gets to "rebut" whatever the DUI defense lawyer said. The prosecutor gets the last word.
Completion Process in a DUI Jury Trial Process
The Verdict: When the jury returns a verdict, the judge will typically read it into the record. In some states, the jury foreperson reads it. Acquittal of the defendant, the trial ends. Conviction of the defendant, the the following steps may occur:
- Polling The Jury: Most states provide the right of either party to request that the jury polled to make sure that the verdict reflects the decision of each and every member of the jury. In some jurisdictions, the completion of polling the jury completed automatically. In other jurisdictions, the completion of polling the jury at the request of a party.
- More Motions: The defense may make a motion to set the verdict aside, or a motion for a new trial. The prosecutor may make a motion for the defendant to taken to jail immediately.
- Sentencing: Sentencing occurs sometime after a verdict of guilty. It can be right away, but in some states and jurisdictions, there is a delay between conviction and sentencing.
- Appeal: If the defense or prosecutor appeals a case, it goes up to the next higher court level. The DUI appeals process can take months or even years in some areas.
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