If you are accused of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Arizona, you have the right to a jury trial. Generally, defendants will want to have their case tried in front of a jury. However, parties may occasionally choose a bench trial, depending on the facts of the case. In a bench trial, the judge decides the facts of the case rather than a jury.
After a traffic stop and arrest for DUI, consult an experienced attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group to learn your legal options and form a strategy. Our former prosecutors—now dedicated defense attorneys—can explain Phoenix DUI jury trials and help prepare you for the process.
A bench trial is before a judge, meaning the judge hears the evidence and decides on the outcome. A jury trial involves six to twelve people selected from the public to determine the facts of the case.
In Phoenix, people accused of DUI generally want to exercise their right to a jury trial. Our seasoned DUI attorneys can advise on whether a bench or jury trial is a better strategy, given the circumstances.
The default in Phoenix DUI cases is a jury trial. The reason a defendant may want their case to be heard by a jury is that a jury must listen to and understand every aspect of the case, including:
These facts are often better heard by a jury than by a judge. A jury may have a wider view and be more receptive to potential DUI defenses. They may be more willing to use their common sense and life experiences to determine whether the person is guilty of intoxicated driving, as opposed to a judge who hears these cases daily. The concepts and ideas in a Phoenix DUI case may be new to a jury, giving the defendant a better opportunity at a fair trial.
A pool of potential jurors is brought into the courtroom during the selection process. This pool is typically two or three times the number of jurors actually needed. These people are screened for multiple criteria.
First, potential jurors in a Phoenix DUI case are screened for availability—whether they have the time to sit on the panel.
Second, the jurors are screened for any biases that they may have. These may be against the police, defendant, prosecution, or any aspects of DUI cases or similar situations. If they have biases that they cannot overcome, they are stricken for cause, meaning they cannot be a fair juror.
At Grand Canyon Law Group, we have significant experience with the law, the circumstances, the forum, and the court where your DUI case will be held. Our seasoned attorneys know everything about how the prosecutors and judges work, so we are better able to determine whether a case should go to trial.
Let us advise you on preparing for Phoenix DUI jury trials and give you the best chances of success in your case. We believe you have a way of life worth protecting. Call us today to learn how we can fight for you.