DUI Court Dates, Arraignment & Final Plea in West Virginia
In West Virginia, your DUI court dates start once you are charged with driving under the influence officially. After a thorough investigation involving an analysis of your speech manner, alcohol or drug order, the state of your eyes, and other sobriety tests etc, if it is determined that your driving exceeded the BAC limit, you will be immediately arrested. According to the law, you can either be held in custody or released with a bond prepared to guarantee your presence in the court for the court dates in future.
What Is the DUI Arraignment?
The arraignment is a court procedure where you are brought before a judge and read your rights and the charges held against you. At this time you will plead guilty or not guilty. Generally, this process happens during one’s arrest in the West Virginia lower county courts without your attorney being present.
Filing the Pretrial Motions
Before the trial even begins, both the state and defense lawyers are to submit pretrial motions. This is done to set boundaries for the trial. Some examples of motions that can be submitted are whether or not certain evidence may be submitted, whether or not certain witnesses may be called upon, and even if the case should go to trial at all or be dismissed.
During the pretrial motions a plea deal might be offered. Having the right lawyer on your side can make a huge difference when deciding to take a deal or not. You might be offered a plea that would put you on probation as opposed to serving jail time. Your lawyer at Mountaineer Criminal Law Group can help you navigate the right decision.
What Happens When the DUI Case Goes to Trial?
If you opt for a trial, the next step would be jury selection. This is your lawyers chance to question the potential jurors and dismiss certain ones. The prosecuting attorney will do the same thing. A jury of your peers will be selected. After the jury is prepared, the trial begins.
The trial begins by the attorneys going one by one and giving their opening statements. The prosecution, with the burden of proof, then has to call its witnesses. The defense can cross-examine these witnesses, and present its case which is then followed by a prosecution rebuttal case. Both sides are allowed a closing argument before the jury leaves the room to begin the deliberations.
The Final Verdict
The jurors take time to discuss the case and everything the heard during trial. They will then take a vote. When a decision is made they will re-enter the courtroom and announce whether they find the defendant guilty or not guilty. After that, a judge will decide on a fitting punishment for your DUI convictions.
If you are facing DUI charges get in touch with a West Virginia criminal lawyer right away. We at Mountaineer Criminal Law Group will do the research and work to build the best defense for your case. Don’t face these charges alone. Call us today at (304) 900-3391 to schedule a consultation at our Morgantown, West Virginia office.