Drivers who are either charged with a crime after a car accident, who are arrested for DUI or who are sued due to injuries caused in a car accident may have to go to trial. Prior to the trial the defendant in the car accident case will be arraigned and they will hear the charges which have been brought against them. In a criminal trial they can plead guilty, no contest or not guilty.
Drivers charged with a crime after a car accident who plead guilty may immediately receive their sentence from the judge. Drivers who plead not guilty will have time to file motions and attend a hearing prior to their trial. At the hearing all of the evidence against the defendant is reviewed and the judge can determine if the state has evidence to hold a car accident trial. Evidence which was gathered illegally may be reviewed and suppressed if the judge decides it cannot be presented at the car accident trial.
At the trial the defendant and prosecution will have the opportunity to participate in jury selection, to make opening statements, to present evidence, to question witnesses and to make closing statements. The goal of the car accident trial for the prosecution is to prove that the defendant is guilty of the crime "beyond a reasonable doubt". The defending attorney, however, is attempting to put doubt in the juror's mind as to the guilt of the defendant. After the closing arguments the jury may deliberate and present their verdict. Most DUI, car accident cases and personal injury cases will be settled or pleaded down prior to a trial.
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