DUI trials can be complex and intimidating, especially when you do not know what to expect and how to prepare. The possible consequences of a conviction can be terrifying. If the trial is not resolved in your favor, the outcome could significantly alter the rest of your life.
For this reason, you need to be fully prepared for what’s to come when facing DUI charges. At The Leier Law Office LLC, we understand the urgency of your situation if your DUI is headed to trial and are ready to go to trial with you to defend your case. Our attorney in Fort Collins, Colorado, can help you understand the court procedures, explain your defense options based on the details of your case, and work tirelessly to improve your chances of receiving a favorable outcome. We also serve the surrounding communities of Windsor, Loveland, Evans, and Greeley.
What Happens at a DUI Trial?
Very few DUI cases go to trial. Most cases involving drunk driving charges are resolved in the pretrial stage. But what if your case goes to trial? What should you expect?
At a DUI trial, both sides—the defense and the prosecution—will have the opportunity to present their arguments and evidence to the jury or the judge and challenge the evidence presented by the opposing side. The prosecution has the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant (the person accused of drunk driving) is guilty.
In many DUI trials, the arresting officer is called to testify. The prosecution may also utilize testimony from expert witnesses to prove its case, including testimony on how the defendant’s blood alcohol content was measured and how the sample was handled. Both the prosecution and the defense will have a chance to cross-examine the opposing side’s witnesses.
Then, both sides make their final arguments before the jury begins deliberation. After deliberations are complete, the jury announces their verdict to the courtroom. Jurors must reach a unanimous verdict. If the defendant is found guilty, the next step will be sentencing, where the judge determines the appropriate penalty.
How to Prepare for Your DUI Trial
If you know that your DUI case is headed to trial, you need to start preparing beforehand. Some of the things you can do to prepare for your DUI trial include:
Dress professionally. Make sure you take the time to dress and groom appropriately. The general rule to follow for the court dress code is to opt for something you would wear to a job interview.
Show respect. Being respectful to the judge is of paramount importance. Many people underestimate the impact their actions and appearance in the courtroom have on the judge’s decision. Always address the judge as “your honor” when speaking directly to him or her.
Do not interrupt. Even if you disagree with the prosecution’s arguments during the trial, wait for your turn to speak. Do not interrupt or engage in outrageous behavior as doing so can hurt your case and make your situation worse.
Hire an attorney. The best way to prepare for your DUI trial is to get help from an attorney. Ideally, you might want to hire an attorney early in your case, but it is never too late to start working with an attorney.
Our DUI/DWAI defense attorney at The Leier Law Office LLC can help you navigate the complexities of your case and develop a successful legal defense based on your unique situation.
What the Prosecution Needs to Prove for a DWAI Conviction
The state of Colorado recognizes two different criminal charges for drunk driving: driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while ability impaired (DWAI).
To get a DWAI conviction, the prosecution must only prove that the driver was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle and the driver's ability to operate that motor vehicle was impaired to the slightest degree by drugs or alcohol:
You can be convicted of drunk driving for merely being in “actual physical control” of the vehicle. A person may be in actual physical control of a vehicle when they have the capability to operate the vehicle. This means you could be found guilty for simply being seated in the driver's seat of a vehicle while impaired.
In Colorado, you can be convicted of DWAI when your BAC is as low as.05.
Your Preparation Starts Today
A DUI trial can be a confusing and stressful experience. It is not something you want to go through without an experienced defense attorney. At The Leier Law Office LLC, we understand that you may be overwhelmed by having to navigate the legal system. Let our dedicated and results-driven attorney help you prepare for your trial so you can feel more confident walking into the courtroom. Contact us today to discuss how we can help.