In a Canton DUI case, the defendant never enter a guilty plea to the DUI charges. In every case, ranging from running a stop sign to a habitual violator DUI, you are entitled to a trial by jury. In order to convict the accused on DUI charges, a Canton prosecutor has to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to a Cherokee County jury. This is a difficult burden and a good DUI lawyer has many opportunities to tear down the prosecutors case.
The first step in the criminal prosecution is arraignment. Arraignment is when you have your first chance to enter a guilty or not guilty plea. A guilty plea is a DUI conviction and goes on your record. The case ends with a guilty plea and you are left to serve your sentence. The alternative is to contest your case with a not guilty plea. The state has to prove you are guilty at either at bench or jury trial. If they cannot do this beyond a reasonable doubt, you are acquitted. A bench trial is a trial before a judge. It is a good option if there is a technical or legal argument as to why you are not guilty. Bench trials are usually shorter and can be reached faster than jury trials. A jury trial is a trial before a jury of usually 6 people. There are a lot of rules of trial procedure, so a DUI attorney should be consulted if you want to contest your case and have a trial.