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Prosecution of Virginia DUI Charges

The government’s case presentation in a Virginia DUI trial will be the first argument made by a Commonwealth’s attorney. The Commonwealth’s attorney is an elected official in any every jurisdiction in Virginia. They can appoint deputies and assistants to try the cases. In the vast majority of cases, the government is represented either by a deputy Commonwealth’s attorney or an assistant Commonwealth’s attorney. To begin fighting an impaired driving charge, contact a distinguished DUI attorney who can present a defense on your behalf.

Evidence Used by the Prosecution

The government typically begins by calling the police officer who was involved in the DUI case. They are going to present testimony about why they pulled the accused over, what they observed at their initial encounter with them, the results of any field sobriety tests that they conducted, and the process by which they obtained a certificate of analysis after a breath or blood sample was provided by the accused.

While the government is presenting its case and while its witnesses are testifying, the defense is paying careful attention to what is being said as well as to what is not being said. By listening to the testimony and the evidence, the defense can prepare first to cross-examine the witnesses to point out any flaws in the process. It also affords the defense an opportunity to think about presenting any evidence. If so, they may need to consider what evidence they may wish to present in light of what the government’s case presentation in a Virginia DUI trial.

Following the Government’s Case Presentation

The defense will follow the government’s case presentation in a Virginia DUI trial in one of two ways. In some cases, the defense will present its own evidence that might come in the form of witnesses, of documentary of evidence of video evidence, or expert testimony. The defense has the opportunity to present evidence to the same extent degrees the government does.

In many cases, there is no benefit to the defense presenting any additional evidence and it may simply wish to argue that the evidence presented by the government is insufficient to convict the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. In those cases, the defense may simply rest at the end of the government’s evidence and will simply proceed to closing arguments.

What Happens During the Defense’s Argument?

The prosecution will be listening to the evidence that is presented during the defense’s case presentation. They are going to be formulating a cross-examination of any defense witnesses. They are going to be thinking about whether they want to present any rebuttal evidence at the end of the defense’s case.

Closing Statements

Closing statements for each side are an opportunity to try to persuade the judge about the meaning of the evidence that was presented at trial, whether it is efficient for conviction, and what ought to happen in the case. Attorneys are allowed to argue based on the evidence in the government’s case presentation in a Virginia DUI trial. However, they are not allowed to talk about evidence that did not come at trial and that was excluded at trial. They have to focus on what actually happened.

Attorneys also have the opportunity to tell the judge what they believe the judge should believe and why and whether they think certain kinds of evidence were sufficient and why. After a judge renders a verdict, the attorney also has the ability to argue about what they think the sentence ought to be in the event that there is a conviction.