DUI Court Process
A DUI court process takes several months to complete. Once you or a loved one have been arrested for DUI, the legal case will start its journey through the legal system. The court process can be confusing and worrisome for anyone who has been arrested. The court process will determine what outcome you can expect.
DUI court hears cases involving drunken driving. Once an arrest has been made, the process will move into a series of court appearances. The court process starts when a DUI suspect has been arrested. If probable cause exists to believe that the suspect is guilty, a warrant for arrest will be issued. From there, it will move into a preliminary hearing. During the preliminary hearing, an investigator and police officer will interview the suspect.
At this point, you or your attorney will be able to go into court and request an arraignment. This is the DUI court process where a judge decides whether or not to proceed with the defendant’s plea. The judge will then enter a not guilty verdict and set a date for a pretrial hearing. The defendant may not enter a plea at this point; however, if the accused does not enter a plea, the trial will continue and the trial date will be determined by the nature of the charge.
Once the DUI defendant has entered a guilty plea at the arraignment, the trial will move forward. If the defendant chooses not to enter a plea, the judge will then enter a not guilty verdict and move on to the pretrial conference. At this point, the DUI defendant can enter a guilty plea and enter a plea bargain.
In many DUI cases, a plea bargain can result in the charges being reduced. If the charges against a suspect are reduced after a conference, there is an alternative known as a “reduction of the charge.” After the initial DUI court process, if the defendant decides not to enter a guilty plea, he or she will be booked in jail.
If a DUI case goes to trial before the judge, then a trial is required. The right to a fair trial is known as ‘judicial independence’. If the DUI case is tried before a judge, then the Prosecution has to prove their case against the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If a DUI case goes to trial before a jury trial, then the Prosecution must disprove their case with a preponderance of the evidence, which means that they must more than likely, prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.