"A good Arizona Felony DUI lawyer educates the court on your defense, file motions, and present compelling arguments in your behalf throughout the Arizona Criminal Justice System. Top Felony DUI attorneys' goal is to get your Felony DUI dismissed, reduced, or otherwise best possible outcome in your case."
Felony DUI Court Process in Arizona
Arizona Felony DUI charges in Maricopa County are handled in the Superior Court. Each county has its own superior court. While the courts generally all follow the same procedures, the names of the hearing and the rules may vary by county. Generally the following apply to Arizona felony DUI cases:
1) Grand Jury Indictment
Felony criminal and DUI charges require a finding of "probable cause". In some cases, probable cause is found by a grand jury. A grand jury is a group of fifteen citizens who are presented evidence by the prosecutor. The grand jury must then decide whether or not there is probable cause of the alleged crime by the accused. At least 9 grand jurors must find that there is probable cause. This is a secret proceeding and the defendant and DUI defense attorney are not entitled to attend. Because of the one-sided nature of this hearing, there are special rules that require the prosecutor to make a fair presentation to the grand jury.
2) Initial Appearance
The initial appearance is generally the first hearing at which the defendant appears in court. It is a brief hearing where the defendant is informed of the charges against them. If arrested, release conditions, if applicable are provided by the judge.
3) Preliminary Hearing
A preliminary hearing is an alternative to a grand jury indictment. At the preliminary hearing the prosecutor presents evidence to the judge in open court. The defendant and Arizona DUI defense attorney are present and the DUI defense lawyer usually cross-examine the state's witnesses such as the police officer. The defense attorney may present its own witnesses. The judge will then determine whether or not probable cause exists. If there is no finding of probable cause, the charges against you for Felony DUI charges are then dismissed.
The purpose of the Arizona arraignment is to advise the defendant of the charges for which probable cause were found. It is at this time that the defendant enters a plea of guilty or not guilty. When a case is charged by a grand jury, the arraignment often takes place at the same time as the initial appearance.
5) Pre-Trial Conference
It is during the pre-trial conference that the defense attorney and prosecutor inform the judge the status of the case and any outstanding issues that require resolution by the judge. In some courts, a case that is not resolved by the time of the pre-trial conference may automatically be set for trial. Just because a case is set to trial does not mean it is actually going to go to trial. The Arizona DUI defense attorney may still be investigating the case and negotiating with the prosecution regarding any resolution.
6) Oral Arguments and Evidentiary Hearings
If there is an issue of law that must be decided by the judge a hearing will be requested and set for the judge to hear the arguments regarding the issue. This is an opportunity for the judge to ask the attorneys questions regarding their legal positions. It is also an opportunity for the judge to hear the testimony of witnesses which may be necessary to resolve the legal issue in question.
7) Pre-Trial Management Conference I
The parties are unable to negotiate a resolution of the case, and then it is set for a trial. Many, but not all, courts set a pre-trial management conference approximately one week prior to the trial date. It is during the pre-trial management conference that the Arizona DUI defense attorney and the prosecutor can discuss any last minute issues with the judge.
In Arizona, a person accused of felony DUI is entitled to a trial by a jury of eight to twelve people depending on the offense charged. During a jury trial, the judge makes decision regarding legal questions and the jury makes decisions regarding factual issues. It is the jury who decides whether the prosecutor has proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and you are guilty of the charges or not.
A felony DUI trial usually takes 3 to 5 days, although a case could be much longer depending on the issues and the number of witnesses. The jury's decision, whether guilty or not guilty, must be unanimous. It is all or nothing. If the jury is unable to reach a unanimous decision, then the judge will declare a mistrial. If a mistrial is declared, the case will be reset for a new trial.
If a person accused of an Arizona felony DUI is found guilty by a jury or guilty by a negotiated plea agreement the matter will be scheduled for a sentencing hearing. Usually sentencing takes place approximately 30 days after the finding of guilt. Prior to sentencing the defendant will meet with a probation officer who will prepare a pre-sentence report for the judge. The pre-sentence report gives the judge background information about the defendant and makes a sentencing recommendation to the judge. Sentencing is an opportunity for both defense and prosecution to present to the judge what they believe to be an appropriate penalty. The judge will then make a ruling and issue a sentencing order. The judge will then make a ruling and issue a sentencing order.
Arizona Felony DUI Defense ׀ Criminal Defense Attorney
Being arrested for a Felony DUI in and of itself is traumatic. But dealing with the aftermath is even more devastating. A good Arizona criminal Attorney will walk you through the maze of hearings, conferences, and protocol. High rated Felony DUI attorneys in Arizona will be your voice, and make sure your story is told, that you are being treated fairly, and do everything possible to assure that the Felony DUI charges have the least possible adverse effects on you as possible.
A good Arizona Felony DUI lawyer educates the court on your defense, file motions, and present compelling arguments in your behalf throughout the Arizona Criminal Justice System. Top Felony DUI attorneys' goal is to get your Felony DUI dismissed, reduced, or otherwise best possible outcome in your case.