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DUI: taken to trial. What are the steps, or what happens.

Kittanning, PA |

My husband had a plea hearing this morning and decided to take his DUI case to trial. We were wondering how this process goes because we have never had a trial case before. Its Thursday and they want him back on Monday. Is it for jury selection(how does the process go?) Does he pick his jury then wait for another trial or is he automatically going to trial and possibly jail Monday? Im personally scared to death because we have two kids so any help in this would be great. Thank you so much.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Going to trial without an attorney is like performing your own surgery. The court will expect you to follow the procedural and the rules of evidence. The prosecutor will not likely cut any slack, and, believe it or not, will likely sneak in evidence because you don't know what is and what is not objectionable.

    The judge may or may not give you leeway, but it is not likely. If at all possible, you should retain an attorney ASAP. The attorney may be able to get a continuance. Even if the attorney can't get a continuance, he/she may be able to try the case. Even without preparation, an attorney is more likely to be successful than a defendant on his own.

    Trying to learn trial procedure from an online forum like this will only confuse the issues more. Being a trial lawyer requires training, knowledge and experience. I am afraid that no one here can give you all of the information you require.

  2. He needs a good lawyer to represent him. This is too complex to handle on your own. If he is picking the jury he is headed for trial, that is the first step in trial.

    He will be charged with all the knowledge of a lawyer and making a mistake or saying something he does not intend might cost him the case.

    This response does not create an attorney client relationship and is offered for informational purposes only. Only a lawyer fully versed on the facts and circumstances of your case can properly advise you on the case. I am licensed to practice in Minnesota, not every state. You should always consult with an attorney licensed in your area on how best to proceed.

  3. Trying a case before a jury requires an understanding of trial procedures, the rules of evidence, jury dynamics, and the underlying statutes. Drunk driving defense is among THE most complicated areas of criminal defense, requiriing an understanding of alcohol physiology, testing procedures and rules, expert witnesses, and cross examining police.

    Few attorney practice in that rarified setting. Even an attorney would hire an attorney to represent himself in a drunk driving case. Attorneys spend years studying trial procedure. A good book on defense costs thousands of dollars.

    You might as well just skip right to the jail part. HIRE an attorney for your husband, or ask the court to appoint one.

    We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I accept a retainer, and we explictly agree to enter into representation.

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