What to Expect During Your DWI/DUI Trial
If you are pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), this may be only the first step in a long legal process. Protecting your rights against accusations of drunk driving can be a complex undertaking. The more you know about what to expect from your trial, the better you will be able to protect your rights.
If you have been accused of driving while intoxicated (DWI), your first step should be to contact a qualified Rhode Island DWI defense lawyer. To discuss your case with an experienced professional, call the offices of Matthew Marin today at 401-287-4384.
DWI Trials, Step-by-Step
After your arrest, the first step in the legal process will be an arraignment. This is a court hearing at which the judge will ask for your plea (guilty or not guilty). He or she will also appoint a public defender to your case if you cannot afford to hire an attorney. Finally, he or she will decide whether to set bail or release you. At this point, the evidence against you will be given to your attorney for review.
The next step is a pre-trial hearing. At this hearing, the judge will decide whether or not the evidence against you merits a trial. This is an opportunity for your defense attorney to make sure he or she has received all of the information relevant to your case. You and your attorney will also decide whether you want a trial by jury or a bench trial (a trial at which you only appear in front of a judge and the prosecution, without a jury.)
Many DUI cases are resolved by judge’s decisions without going to trial; however, you and your lawyer should be prepared for this possibility. At a trial, the prosecution and defense will both present their evidence and arguments to the court. The judge or jury (depending on the type of trial) will then determine guilt or innocence. If the defendant is found guilty, the judge will issue a sentence.
DWI cases generally end with the defendant either completing the sentence, or being found not guilty. However, if you feel you have been unfairly convicted, you may want to appeal the court’s decision. This will lead to a hearing with a judge and potentially a new trial.
You may wonder why you should hire a lawyer? One of the main reasons is the the legal system can be very complex. If you have been accused of DUI or a related crime, you need an experienced Rhode Island DUI defense attorney who can fight for you.
If you have been accused of drunk driving, having the right legal representation can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. To discuss your options with a knowledgeable Rhode Island Drunk Driving defense attorney, contact Matthew Marin at 401-287-4384.