Right to Jury Trial Limited by Arizona Bill

Jury trial is mostly used in the United States and in Canada. There are few other countries that require juries for trials. Depending on the common law of the land, jury trials are allowed for the different cases such as incidents involving drunk driving that go to court.

The Arizona Legislature has approved a bill wherein DUI defendants will no longer get a jury trial for their first offense (KPHO 04/22/2011). Having a jury trial was a flat right of DUI defendants before the approval of this bill.

With this, the judge will be the one to decide whether to approve a request for jury trial or for the judge to hear the case. The bill also gives judges new discretion on sentencing these offenders.

The use of ignition interlock devices was also lessened in the punishment for these first-time offenders.

In a jury trial, juries are chosen by the judge or the parties involved in the case. After the jury is chosen and sworn in, the parties give opening arguments, present their evidence and give closing arguments. The jury then deliberates; when it reaches a decision, it returns to the courtroom and announces the verdict.

While light drinking of certain alcoholic beverages are considered good for the heart, there are still people who abuse this privilege and outweighing this benefit with greater risks. Drinking too much increases a person’s chance of being injured or killed. Alcohol is a factor, for example, in about 60% of fatal burn injuries, drownings, and homicides; 50% of severe trauma injuries and sexual assaults; and 40% of fatal motor vehicle crashes, suicides, and fatal falls (Rethinking Drinking).

If you or a loved one were victims of an Arizona drunk driving accident, know your legal rights and options. You can call the experienced Phoenix DUI accident attorneys for a free consultation at (480) 753-4534.

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