Before a DUI Trial in Annapolis
When an individual has been charged with a DUI in Annapolis, they will generally go to trial. Prior to trial, there will be the arraignment and pre-trial conference in order to handle any administrative problems and set the trial date. However, sometimes the prosecution and defense will be able to agree on a pre-trial resolution such as a plea deal that is favorable to the defendant and the case will not need to proceed to trial. If you have been charged with a DUI in Annapolis, contact an experienced attorney right away.
A pre-trial conference takes place before the court and usually the defense attorney, a prosecutor, and the judge will be present. Determinations are made regarding the trial schedule, when motions hearings should take place, and the trial dates should be set. The pre-trial conference is designed to ensure that all parties involved know where they need to be, all discovery has been provided in a timely fashion, and every case is scheduled to move forward.
The judge will usually ask each side a number of questions about the case itself and to dispose of administrative issues. The questions generally include whether discovery has been provided, if all necessary witnesses have been subpoenaed, and to confirm whether the currently scheduled hearings work for both sides. Both parties are also asked to provide an estimate on how long each side expects the hearings to last.
If a prosecutor and a defense attorney review the evidence in a case and determine that it is insufficient, the prosecutor might be inclined to reduce the charges and ask the person to plead guilty to a lesser charge. The prosecutor may also offer a significant sentence reduction if the accused chooses to resolve the case outside of the presence of a judge or a jury.
At this stage, a defense attorney may also be able to get the case dismissed completely if the evidence against the defendant is insufficient. In either event, the case would not go to trial in a courtroom.
Failure to Resolve Prior to Trial
The case will go to trial if the prosecution and the defense cannot come to an agreement about its resolution before trial. Usually, after the discovery process, a prosecutor and an Annapolis DUI defense attorney will discuss possible resolution of the case based on the strength or weakness of the evidence that the state intends to bring.
If the state has a weak case, they might be inclined to offer a plea that is considerably less than what the defendant is charged with. The accused might consider accepting that plea in exchange for a more lenient resolution of the case.
When a defense attorney and a prosecutor cannot come to that kind of an agreement, the case might go to trial. If the case goes to trial, the defendant would plead not guilty and send the case to a judge or a jury to determine whether the state has sufficient evidence to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt.