DUI Jury Trial Georgia
There are several steps in a DUI criminal proceeding. Following your arrest, you will go to court for the arraignment, during which the judge will read the state’s charges against you and ask how you plead. Your attorney can offer advice on whether you should plead “guilty,” “not guilty,” or “no contest.” If you plead guilty or no contest, you may be sentenced on the spot. If you plead not guilty, the judge will schedule a date for your preliminary hearing.
A preliminary hearing is conducted to determine if the evidence is enough to convict you for drunk driving. There is also a pre-trial motions hearing during which your attorney can file a motion to suppress certain forms of evidence, such as your breathalyzer reading or field sobriety test results.
If your case goes to a jury trial, both your defense attorney and the prosecution will make the jury selection. Each attorney gets a certain number of preemptive strikes to eliminate some potential jurors for any reason. Some jurors may also be eliminated if they are unable to remain unbiased.
After the jury is selected, the Georgia DUI jury trial will begin. Both the prosecution and defense will make opening comments, laying out the evidence they will present during the case. The prosecution will call its witnesses and the defense attorney will cross examine them. Then the defense can then call its witlessness and the prosecution will cross examine them. Once all witnesses have testified, the prosecution will make closing remarks, giving the defense a chance for rebuttal afterwards.
Before the jury members deliberate, the judge will explain to them the elements of the crime for which you have been charged and explain how a verdict should be reached. The jury will then deliberate and come back with a guilty or not guilty verdict.
A jury trial can have some advantages over a bench trial. For example, the jury may show more compassion than a judge would.
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