Until you are in the shoes of a DUI suspect, you may fail to realize exactly how nerve-wracking it can be to staring down DUI charges in Hall County. The process is confusing, the future uncertain, the penalties harsh, and the fines steep. An experienced Hall County DUI attorney can considerably alleviate many of these worries if you find yourself charged. Nevertheless, the best thing you can do if you currently face DUI charges is to arm yourself with knowledge about the penalties, the entire process, and what is expected of you. If your trial ends well and produces a favorable result, (which hinges on the tireless efforts of your Hall County DUI attorney), you may see your charges thrown out or reduced. The penalties looming over your head would dissipate, and you could return to your normal life. Therefore, your impending trial is critical, but you do not need to waste much time and stress over it. Your attorney will do much of the heavy lifting in achieving the desired result.
Ultimately, before your trial, you will want to acquaint yourself with the DUI trial process, the rules of the court, what is expected of you by way of conduct and attire, the rights you have heading into court, and the potential outcomes you face.
Conduct at a DUI Trial in Hall County
The judge will be more inclined to view you and your case favorably if you behave respectfully and acknowledge the seriousness of the offenses of which you have been charged, regardless of whether or not you are found guilty. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty and that is perhaps your greatest asset. No matter how guilty you "seem" under the circumstances involved, if your attorney raises sufficient doubt about any aspect of the prosecution's evidence, your entire case may conceivably be thrown out.
As you prepare for trial, here are some key points to remember about your behavior and composure in the courtroom.
- Show up on time, if not early. Be punctual and alert.
- Consult with your attorney to ensure you are properly organized and prepared for anything that may be asked of you in the course of the trial.
- Dress appropriately. While this does not mean luxe or ultra-formal, you should by no means dress casually. Slacks are appropriate for both men and women. Collared shirts are advised for men. Both sexes are advised to dress modestly and with class. Women should don "business appropriate" attire. Wear close-toed shoes.
- When the judge enters or leaves the courtroom, rise from your seat. Do not return to a seated position until you are told it is okay to sit.
- Do not bring food or drink into the court under any circumstances. Leave it in your car rather than inside the courtroom.
- Refer to the judge exclusively as “Your Honor.”
- When you are prompted to speak to the judge, stand up straight and offer them your undivided attention. Make eye contact.
- Enter and exit the courtroom quietly, with little to no commotion or chatter.
- Keep your cell phone or other electronic devices silenced and stowed before you enter the courtroom.
- Be polite not only to the judge, but also the opposing counsel (prosecution), jury if applicable, all court staff, and other attendees.
- When asked a question, do not whisper, answer meekly or in any manner that is difficult for the judge to hear. Project your voice and speak clearly and concisely.
- When any aspect of the trial concludes, thank the judge for giving it their attention.
While in court, it is imperative that you portray an image of sincerity, responsibility, and contrition if applicable to your case. DO NOT ...
- Interrupt the judge or any others in the court while they are speaking. Wait until the conclusion of their statement to pose a question or make a comment.
- Wear hats or other head coverings inside the courtroom.
- Wear sunglasses, only reading glasses are acceptable.
- Wear baggy pants that must be held up or which fall below the waist.
- Wear revealing clothing (ex: halter tops, crop tops, plunging necklines).
- Wear clothes that depict violence, sexual acts, profanity, or illegal drugs.
- Bring weapons of any kind into the courtroom.
- Use your phone in the courtroom whether it be for email, texting, or phone calls.
- Chew gum.
- Wear flip-flops or other open-toe shoes.
- Use derogatory language.
- Consume alcohol the evening before court.
By abiding by these unspoken rules of the court and acquainting yourself with them prior to trial, you have already helped your own case tremendously. Not adhering to these simple rules could hurt the judge's or jury's perception of you, which could, in turn, hurt your case.
What Are My DUI-Related Rights in Hall County?
You have a right to the following during your DUI trial and DUI case at large: the right to discovery and exculpatory evidence
- Right to a list of witnesses. The right to see, hear, and cross-examine witnesses.
- Right to understand the effects of a guilty plea.
- Right to the presumption of innocence. As mentioned, you are innocent until the prosecution can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the DUI offense.
- Right to file motions and make objections.
- Right to remain silent and the right to testify. (Your attorney will advise you as to the best course of action when it comes to the question of whether or not to testify. This is an incredibly important decision you must make together. Because the government has the burden of proof, many opt to remain silent and let their attorney try to jab holes in the prosecution's case.)
- Right to appeal your verdict.
What Happens at a Hall County DUI Trial?
Your DUI trial can take one of two forms: a jury trial or a bench trial. In a jury trial, a jury comprised of six ideally impartial individuals will come to a decision about the outcome of your case based on the evidence presented to them. In a bench trial, only a judge hears the evidence of both prosecution and defense. A bench trial is arguably favorable because the outcome of your charges will not lay in the hands of six people who have no prior knowledge of DUI law and its intricacies. You can discuss with your attorney which type of trial is ideal and suitable for your case.
At trial, the prosecution must prove you are guilty of DUI beyond a reasonable doubt. Your Hall County DUI attorney may bring witnesses and experts, and he or she may cross-examine the arresting officer to build your case and create reasonable doubt. At the end of the trial, the judge or jury will make a determination as to your guilt. If you are found guilty, you can appeal that judgment.
Hall County DUI Attorney
If you are currently facing DUI charges and hoping to fight your charges in a fair trial, it is imperative that you team with an experienced Hall County DUI attorney. Contact a Hall County DUI attorney immediately for a free consultation of your charges.