When you think of a criminal court trial, think of it as your last chance to prove to the state that you are not guilty of the crime charged against you. While many DUI cases never make it this far due to plea bargaining, dismissal of cases or various other reasons, some do proceed on to a trial. By this point, pre-trial motions have been set and the prosecution and defense are ready to go head to head to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that you are either guilty or not guilty of driving under the influence - a serious criminal offense.
Selecting The Trial Jury
It is the job of the jury to listen to the evidence presented against you by the prosecution, then listen to the defense to determine whether or not you are guilty of driving under the influence. Before the trial begins, the judge, prosecution and defense all have a hand in selecting a jury.
At the beginning of the trial, the prosecution will make an opening statement explaining the charge against the defendant and why they believe him or her to be guilty. The prosecution will tell the jury how they plan to prove that the defendant was driving under the influence.
Steps Of The Trial Proceedings
Next, the defense has a chance to discredit the statements made by the prosecution. They will explain to the jury how they plan to prove the defendant’s innocence. After opening statements are made, the prosecution will start to introduce evidence and specific facts that may prove the defendant is guilty. The prosecution may also call a witness to the stand to testify against the defendant. The defense has a chance to cross examine the witness, refute the evidence and call a witness of their own. Both sides have a chance to call their witness to the stand once more after they have been cross examined by the opposite side. This is to try to remedy any damage that cross examining may have caused.
Once evidence and witnesses have been introduced to the jury, both sides will be in a resting state, meaning that no more evidence or witnesses can be introduced. Now both sides will prepare for closing arguments in one last attempt to try to win over the jury.
It is now in the hands of a jury to deliberate and eventually read a verdict.
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