Every person charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) in Colorado has the right to go to trial, although not everyone chooses to go to trial.
Here’s an overview of the process used in most DUI trials, starting on the day of trial:
- The parties meet in the courtroom and discuss preliminary issues, like last-minute plea agreements or the ability to use or to keep out certain pieces of evidence.
- If you have a jury trial, the process of “voir dire” is used to pick the jurors. The chosen jury is sworn in, and the judge reads pre-trial instructions to them.
- The prosecutor makes an opening statement describing what he or she intends to prove. Your attorney may make an opening statement, or he may wait until the second half of the trial.
- The prosecutor presents evidence to try to build the case he or she described in the opening statement. Evidence may include witnesses, lab reports, and other items. Your attorney may challenge the evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and raise objections to protect your legal rights.
- The prosecutor “rests,” or finishes, and your attorney takes the floor. Your attorney may call witnesses or present other evidence, and the prosecutor may challenge it, cross-examine witnesses, or raise objections.