The Jury Selection Process in a California DUI Case

A crucial part of any drunk-driving case is the jury selection process.  All experienced California DUI attorneys know this and will always strive to insure that their clients’ jury panels are going to be fair and impartial. 

 

As with any criminal case, in a California driving under the influence (DUI) case, 12 jurors are selected, along with one or two alternate jurors.  In order for a DUI suspected offender to be convicted of a California DUI/DWI, all 12 jurors must unanimously agree that the offender is guilty of each element presented, “beyond all reasonable doubt.”  If even one juror has reasonable doubt, then the trial will end with what is known as a “ hung jury,” and possibly all charges will be dismissed.  Even though California DUI defense lawyers always strive to obtain a “not guilty” verdict for their clients, a hung jury is still a good win.

About Jury Selections

As the jury selection process begins, a panel of potential jurors are sent into a courtroom where the clerk of the court will swear in the potential jurors.  From the start, the judge will instruct the jury as to the charges of the suspected CA DUI offender and how long the trial should last.  Then, the judge will ask each juror a series of questions that are posted on a bulletin board in the courtroom.  In addition to these questions, each juror typically fills out a questionnaire that the California DUI defense attorney and the prosecuting attorney, as well as the judge, have a copy of to review.  Questions about the jurors’ occupations, residences, whether or not they are married and/or have children are typically asked during this time.