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Seattle DUI Attorney

DUI Court Process

The Arraignment

The first court appearance you will most likely make is at the arraignment. Here, you will be advised of your trial rights, formally charged by the DUI court, and asked to plead Guilty or Not Guilty to the DUI charge. If you wish to contest this charge, you have to enter a Not Guilty plea. At the conclusion of the arraignment, the judge will make a decision as to whether any conditions should be imposed on you and then give you a date to appear for the pre-trial hearing.

The Pre-Trial Hearing

This is the DUI hearing after the arraignment. The pre-trial hearing gives the attorneys an opportunity to discuss the case, engage in plea bargaining discussions and discuss whether all the relevant discovery material has been exchanged. This hearing may be continued if the defense counsel needs to get more information from the State or if they wish to continue ongoing negotiations with the prosecutor. If there is no plea bargain offer or there is no continuance, then the attorneys will tell the court the motions they will be bringing. A motions hearing will then be set so the attorneys can argue these motions. There is often more than one pre-trial hearing.

The Motions Hearing

This is simply a hearing before the trial set up to defend your motions in front of the judge. This hearing is important because it gives the DUI defense attorney the opportunity to bring legal challenges against the prosecutor’s evidence. If the attorney is successful in their challenges, certain evidence that went against your client may be suppressed and the State will not be able to use this evidence against the defendant during their case.

The Readiness Hearing

This hearing will be generally scheduled right before the trial. Both DUI attorneys make a decision as to whether the case will go to trial or if a plea bargain is reached by both sides. The readiness hearing may be continued if there is still ongoing negotiations, or if additional information is needed by the parties. If the parties are ready to go to trial, then the judge will usually set a date for trial.

The Trial

At this point the two sides are ready to do battle. After jury selection, both sides will give their opening statements. After this process, both the prosecutor and defense will be given a chance to explain their case to the jury through witness testimony or any additional evidence. Next, both sides give their closing statements. After all the evidence is presented, the jury will commence deliberations and make a decision as innocence or guilt.

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Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is intended to be, legal advice.  You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own seperate legal issue.

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