What Happens at a DUI Trial?

Every person charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) in Colorado has the right to go to trial, although not everyone chooses to go to trial.

Here’s an overview of the process used in most DUI trials, starting on the day of trial:

  1. The parties meet in the courtroom and discuss preliminary issues, like last-minute plea agreements or the ability to use or to keep out certain pieces of evidence.
  2. If you have a jury trial, the process of “voir dire” is used to pick the jurors. The chosen jury is sworn in, and the judge reads pre-trial instructions to them.
  3. The prosecutor makes an opening statement describing what he or she intends to prove. Your attorney may make an opening statement, or he may wait until the second half of the trial.
  4. The prosecutor presents evidence to try to build the case he or she described in the opening statement. Evidence may include witnesses, lab reports, and other items. Your attorney may challenge the evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and raise objections to protect your legal rights.
  5. The prosecutor “rests,” or finishes, and your attorney takes the floor. Your attorney may call witnesses or present other evidence, and the prosecutor may challenge it, cross-examine witnesses, or raise objections.

  • Once your attorney “rests,” both parties typically make “closing statements,” describing what each side thinks the verdict should be based on the evidence.
  • The judge gives the jury additional instructions, and the jury retires to decide on a verdict. If there was no jury, the judge retires to consider the verdict.
  • The judge or jury return and give their verdict. In order to find a verdict of “guilty,” the judge or jury must believe the prosecutor proved every element of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
    The decision to go to trial is a highly personal one, and it depends on the facts of your case. That’s why it’s crucial to base your trial decision on your discussions with an experienced Colorado Springs DUI defense attorney like Timothy Bussey. To get started, call The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. today at (719) 475-2555 for a free and confidential consultation.
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