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DUI Process in Idaho

After you have been arrested for a DUI your best option is to call a lawyer. It can be a long and complicated process. Generally, this is what you can expect:

Step One: The Arraignment

The arraignment is the first step in the trial process. Here, you will be taken from holding at the police station and into the court house. By this point you should already have a lawyer. When you are before the judge you will be asked if you plead guilty or not guilty. The safe plea is generally thought to be “not guilty,” but your plea should be a careful decision made between you and your lawyer. Other then entering your plea a few other things will happen. If you are not able to afford a lawyer the judge will decide if you are eligible for a court appointed lawyer (public defender). Also, this is where your bail will be set. After this step is over you will be able to go home.

By the time that you are able to go home you will have copies of the evidence against you as well as dates set for pre-trial matters.

Step Two: Pre Trial Hearings

The second step in the DUI process is the pre trial hearing. Many different things can happen at these hearings. For example, if you refused to submit to a breathalyzer on the day of the arrest you will have the opportunity to explain why it was that you refused the breathalyzer. Also, depending on the individual case there may be a plea bargain offered. This would be offered by the state and would allow the offender to plead guilty to a lesser charge—like reckless driving.

Step Three: Motions

This is an important phase of the trial. Here, defense lawyers work hard to keep out evidence like blood testing results or bottles confiscated from the car. For example, this can be done by saying the technician who drew the blood was not qualified or that the breathalyzer was not up to Idaho standards for calibration.

Step Four: The Trial

If no plea agreement has been reached then the DUI case will proceed to trial. The order of a trial is almost always the same. It goes like this:

Jury selection—this is where the lawyers select the members of the jury. But, remember that you don’t have to have a jury trial. You can elect to have a judge hear the case and make a decision. However, this is rare for a DUI case.

Once you have a jury then each lawyer will give an opening statement where the lawyers will tell the jury what they are going to here in the case. This is like the table of contents of the day.


Each side will present witnesses. The lawyers from each side will ask the witness questions.

Again there will be a motion by the defense lawyer will ask the judge to dismiss the case for lack of evidence. However, it is likely that this motion will be denied and the decision will be left to the jury.

Closing: each lawyer will remind the jury of the evidence that they heard that day and argue why the jury should find in their favor. Then the judge will instruct the jury on the law and send them back to deliberate. Then there will be a verdict.


Will occur after either that day or at a later date. The sentencing will be given according to the above standards.

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