In a DUI, the case may proceed to trial if the individual pleads not guilty. If the defendant does not want to accept the plea, sometimes, the only way they can get out of the charge is through trial.  If the offer on the table is so bad that the defendant wants to simply have their day in court and try the case to see what happens, the case may proceed to trial.

For the most part, if a person maintains their innocence and does not want to plead guilty to the charge, the only way to get out of the charge is to try the case. If you have been charged with a DUI and are concerned about tackling the Atlanta DUI trial process, it is important to contact an impaired driving lawyer immediately who has experience with DUI trials.

Pretrial Conference

The pretrial conference in Atlanta DUI trial process is where a defense lawyer has the opportunity to discuss with the prosecutor what recommendation or what sentence will be issued in the case. It is a chance for the defense lawyer to present any mitigating evidence to the prosecutor and a chance also for the prosecutor to present any evidence in aggravation that they choose to use against the defendant. A pretrial is an opportunity to negotiate.

Hearing the Case

Drunk driving cases are held in the Municipal Court of Atlanta. These cases are deemed only bench trials. What then happens is, if a person wants a jury trial for their Atlanta DUI, the person must move their case by demanding a jury trial to the State Court of Fulton County or DeKalb County. The case will then be transferred out of the city of Atlanta to the state court for a trial. The misdemeanor court judges are elected officials. They are appointed by the governor and then elected, or they can run as elected officials.

Trial Steps

When the Atlanta DUI trial process begins, witnesses will be called. The jury will then be empanelled and at the end of the day, the person will be either guilty or not guilty and then sentenced or let go. Some trials can last a week while others can last a few hours. This just depends on the overall fact pattern.

A dismissal can occur if the defendant presents some sort of evidence as to why the case needs to be dismissed. If the prosecutor agrees, the case may be dismissed. However, dismissals in DUI cases are extremely rare. This is the only way to get the case resolved before the Atlanta DUI trial process.

Preparation Tactics

In most Atlanta DUI cases, the criminal defendant is not going to testify. The state has to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and the defendant, under no circumstances, is required to testify. Generally, there is not a lot that a person is going to say that is going to help their cause.

An accused individual normally just must sit there and listen to the attorney cross-examine the witnesses. If they are going to testify during their Atlanta DUI trial process, an attorney can prepare them beforehand to testify. A good way to prepare is just to  take notes and maybe assist the lawyer in preparing and helping the client’s defense.

Role of an Attorney

The first thing that happens in a trial is where the lawyer will pick a jury by asking questions of various people who are brought into the courtroom. The next days will be opening statements where the lawyer gives some preview of what the evidence will show. The next phase will be the presentation of evidence, re-cross examine witnesses and then present the lawyer’s own witnesses. In most cases, an attorney will cross-examine and poke holes in the state’s case. If the defense is going to present any evidence, they may present some civilian witnesses; they may present an expert witness.

The final part of the case is the closing argument where the lawyer gets a chance to summarize, explain why a client should be found not guilty. Then the judge will give the jurors various questions in the law and have them decide the case. The Atlanta DUI trial process with a jury means they will deliberate and present their verdict before sentencing.