Virginia DUI Trials
When a person first arrives at the courthouse, they should find their courtroom. Most courthouses have multiple courtrooms that are running simultaneously on the same day. There are various methods of doing that. Some courts have video screens that have names and corresponding courtroom assignments. Some courts have paper dockets where a person can look.
Often one can go on the court’s website and find their courtroom assignment the morning of court. Once the person arrives, they should have a seat in their courtroom, the person should discuss with their Virginia DUI attorney whether they are going to meet them before him to talk or whether the person should wait in the courtroom while they speak to the prosecutor.
The main steps in the trial process after all of the preparation is done in terms of preparing to challenge the government’s evidence is to point out any violations of rights that may have occurred and may result in suppression. After preparing any witnesses for the defense, then there are arguments by both sides, the evidence is presented by both sides, and then the attorneys put forth their argument again at the end, about what ought to happen.
The first thing that happens the day of a Virginia DUI trial is that both the prosecution as well as the defense have the opportunity to make opening statements. In some cases they do and in some cases, one or both sides will waive the right and simply proceed to the evidence.
During a trial, the government has the opportunity to go first, they get to present their witnesses and question them and present any evidence as part of their case.
With respect to each of those things, a skilled DUI attorney can cross-examine, ask questions, and even in some cases to introduce their own evidence through the witnesses of the government.
Understanding the Trial Process
Once the government’s case has been heard by the court, the defense has the ability to make motions if appropriate. The defense may argue that even if all of the evidence presented by the Commonwealth is believed and viewed in the most favorable light, it is not sufficient for a conviction. If that motion is not successful, the defense will either present its own evidence or rest.
The day of a Virginia DUI trial is not about evidence that the defense may present, they are simply about whether the government has proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Once the defense either offers its evidence, there will be closing arguments both by the defense and the prosecution.
Once the judge has heard all of that, they will ask the accused to rise and pronounce their verdict. If the person is found not guilty, they are free to go. If the person is found guilty, both sides are invited to present any additional evidence or argument on the issue of sentencing. After that is complete, the judge then pronounces a sentence. In most cases, the sentence is carried out immediately.