The DUI Process in Arizona
The Arrest and Booking
The process usually begins with a traffic stop. If the police officer has reason to believe that you’ve been drinking you will be placed under arrest and required to submit to a (BAC) test.
If the test shows a BAC level of .08% or more you will be booked into jail. You will be fingerprinted, searched and have a mug shot taken. Your belongings will be confiscated, searched, and locked away until you are released. You will then be placed in a cell until either your arraignment or you arrange for bail.
Your first court appearance will be at the arraignment, where you will be formally charged and given the opportunity to enter a plea. It’s prudent to arrange for a Mesa DUI attorney to appear with you in court, and a DUI attorney will almost never advise you to plead guilty. At this time the judge will discuss the issue of bail. If you have no prior criminal record your DUI attorney may request that you be released on your own recognizance. Lastly, the judge will inform you of your future court dates.
The Pretrial Conference
During the pretrial conference your DUI attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor in an attempt to reach a deal. This is a time when it’s particularly important to have an attorney highly experienced in Arizona DUI law representing you. A plea bargain may involve pleading guilty to a lesser charge. You will not be present at this meeting, so you must depend on your DUI lawyer to come to the best possible agreement, and then clearly explain the pros and cons of that agreement to you. If you plead not guilty, and an agreement cannot be reached, a trial date will be set.
If your case proceeds to a jury trial, the first step is selecting a jury. This is one of the most crucial aspects of the trial. Potential jurors will be brought in to be questioned by the prosecutor, your attorney, and the judge in an attempt to find any bias in favor for or against the accused. Since jury selection is so important to the outcome of the trial it’s critical that your DUI attorney be highly experienced in jury selection. One juror can influence the outcome of the trial.
Once the trial begins, both the prosecutor and your attorney will present their case and the jury will deliberate until a verdict is reached.
If you are found guilty, then the judge will decide the punishments, which can include jail time, fines, probation, license suspension, DUI education and the use of an ignition interlock system.
At My AZ Lawyers our attorneys are specialists in their field of law. A DUI lawyer in Mesa that’s highly experienced in Arizona DUI law can make a great deal of difference in the outcome of your case.
* This blog is written by a third party and nothing in this blog should be taken to constitute professional advice or a formal recommendation and we exclude all representations, warranties, legal liability or responsibility relating to its content. The information in this blog is for general information purposes only.
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