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Right to a DUI Jury Trial in Arizona

Posted by Shawn Hamp | Nov 08, 2014 | 0 Comments

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In Arizona you have an absolute right to a jury trial for ANY DUI offense. That statement is true if you are charged with a Felony DUI, an Extreme DUI, or just a regular first time DUI offense. To get a jury trial for a misdemeanor offense you must make a demand for a Jury Trial in a timely fashion.

Most criminal defendants charged with a misdemeanor are not entitled to a jury trial unless one is required under common law or unless the offense is specifically numerated by statute to be eligible for a jury trial offense. Fortunately under A.R.S. 28-1381(F) a defendant charged with a regular first time DUI or more serious crime is entitled to a trial by jury.

At the Arraignment, the court shall inform the defendant that the defendant may request a trial by jury and that the request, if made, shall be granted. – Arizona Revised Statutes 28-1381(F).

A request for a jury trial is made with the Court, usually with the assistance of an attorney who files a formal “Demand for Jury Trial” with the clerk of the court. A trial by a jury of one's peers is a fundamental right that ensures our system of due process.  Having the assistance of a lawyer of your choice is also a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution.

In 2011, the Arizona legislature, without public comment or debate, changed the law to take away the right to jury trial for first time offenders. Fortunately, that right was quickly restored only four months later with HB 2284 in April of 2012 affirming that all Arizonans have the right to a trial by Jury for a DUI offense.

About the Author

Shawn Hamp

President and lead counsel for the Law Offices of Shawn B. Hamp, P.C. (An Arizona Professional Corporation), Shawn Hamp has practiced law for more than 15 years with an emphasis in criminal law. An experienced trial attorney, Mr. Hamp has been lead counsel in hundreds of criminal trials and court...

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