What Happens Before A Trial?
Pre-trial Conference. Your pre-trial conference will occur within 45 days of your arraignment. Here, your DUI attorney will negotiate with the prosecutor to see if the State can offer you a plea bargain. Your attorney will discuss the offer with you and whether you should take it. If you take the plea agreement, you may plead guilty to a lesser charge and accept the consequences of that plea. If you do not come to an agreement, your case will go to trial. (Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure Rules 16.4 and 16.5.)
Pre-trial Motions and Hearings. Your DUI attorney will file pre-trial motions and attend pre-trial hearings in an attempt to keep certain pieces of evidence from being used against you at trial. These motions must be submitted at least 20 days before trial and the prosecutor will have 10 days to respond. These motions and hearings may result in the charges being dismissed. (Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure Rules 16.1-16.3 and 16.6.)
Trial. If your case goes to trial, your case will be heard by a judge and a jury, and the jury will decide if you are guilty or not guilty of DUI. If you opt for a bench trial (judge and no jury), your case will be decided by the judge. For most people, it’s best to have your case decided by the jury.
At your trial, your attorney and the prosecution will select the jury, present opening statements, question witnesses on the stand, and end with their closing arguments. The prosecution has the burden of proving that you are guilty. You are not required to testify on your own behalf. (Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure Rules 18-23.)
If you have been charged with a DUI or Drug related DUI, contact the Arizona criminal defense lawyers at Oracle Law Group Office P.C. for assistance with your criminal case.