Once arrested and charged with a DUI, the process can be slow and frustrating because the control of a case lies with the judges, clerks, and prosecutors. The court system and each courthouse within it moves at its own pace. Typically, the pace is dependent on the amount of cases that the courthouse has to deal with at that point in time. When a case is delayed for several weeks or months, though it can be frustrating, it is quite normal and is not generally something that can be fixed. So, trying to be patient with this process is important.
The Court Process
Your Court Case
One thing that can often be stressful for a client is when their attorney intentionally delays the case, which is referred to as a “continuance.” Continuances are extended periods to provide accommodation for a case to increase the chances of the attorney getting more information and studying the details of a case to get a better result. Working well and being patient with the lawyers, prosecutors, and court is critical.
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In Connecticut, a DUI is considered a criminal case, meaning that the case will be held before a Connecticut Superior Court in the area where the alleged DUI occurred. The section of the Superior Court is called a geographical area (G.A.) and encompasses the geographical region of the State that is appropriate for a particular case. For example, Hartford Superior Court, G.A. 14, is in charge of cases that arise out of the towns of Hartford, West Hartford, Farmington, Canton, Bloomfield, and Avon.
One way to think about any case, such as a DUI, is that there are two sides – the defense and the prosecution. Television shows and other media often refer to the prosecution as district attorneys, or “DAs,” but in Connecticut, they are called State’s Attorneys.
The State’s Attorneys represent the people of the State and prosecute cases where they believe a crime has been committed and are working on behalf of the people of the State. On the other hand, the defense attorney represents and defends the Constitutional rights and advocates for the defendant in the case.
There are all different types of criminal cases, but at a basic level, they are generally broken up into felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions. Felonies are the most serious offenses. As such, they carry the most severe consequences, punishable by prison sentences of more than a year.
Misdemeanors are less serious offenses. These offenses are punishable by prison sentences of one year or less. Violations such as motor vehicle infractions are punishable by a fine at the most and may not even require a court appearance (for example, mailing in a fine after receiving a traffic ticket).
Making a Good Impression
Something that may not be common knowledge or expressed much in television and media is that demeanor, speech, and clothing are all important factors that a defendant must be aware of. While appearing in court, a defendant should remember to be respectful and should act appropriately in the courthouse because there are many people watching, such as the prosecutor and the judge.
Defendants should refrain from using profanity or speaking out of turn to the judge and speak when their attorney advises them to. Additionally, making a good impression is very important. You should wear business clothing to court such as a dress shirt, dress shoes, and a tie for men and a dress, blouse, skirt, nice shoes, sweater, or business jacket for women. It is not recommended that a defendant appear in court wearing jeans, hats, t-shirts, or anything that may be inappropriate or insulting because the judge and others in the court will take notice of this.
The court process can be very complicated and stressful, so remember that having a good attorney representing you may be critical for getting the best outcome possible. If you have been charged with a DUI in Hartford, call Lady DUI to get assistance.