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Rhode Island DUI Lawyer – Criminal Trial Court Procedure

What is the process when you are charged with DUI in Rhode Island?

When you are charged with driving under the influence, your first appearance on the DUI charge is called an arraignment and is held in district court. At the arraignment, you are formally advised of the charges against you, the judge decides whether to set a bail or to release you on your promise to reappear in court, called personal recognizance and the case is set down for a further pretrial date. Most DUI defendants are released on their promise to reappear in court and are not required to post any bail. If you have defaulted on prior court cases or have a bad record, bail could be an issue in your case.

At the next COURT date, a pretrial conference is held. The purpose of the pretrial is to ensure that the prosecutor has provided the defendant with all discovery. Discovery in a RHODE ISLAND DUI case involves obtaining all police reports, obtaining any booking video and or video at the police station as well as obtaining the training materials of the arresting officers in conducting the field sobriety tests. Following the pretrial conference, the case is set down for trial if the defendant does not wish to resolve the case through a plea agreement.

In Rhode Island, you have the right to appeal to the superior court for a trial de novo if you are found guilty in the district court. In the Rhode Island district court, you cannot receive a jury trial; accordingly, if you want to elect a jury trial, you can either transfer the case immediately to the superior court or receive a bench trial in district court and then appeal to the superior court to a trial de novo should you be convicted.

If you refuse the breathalyzer test, you are likely to have court dates in both the District Court and Rhode Island Traffic Court regarding the civil infraction of refusal to submit to a breathalyzer or chemical test.

What you can expect to happen during your DUI Trial:

  • The decision on judge or jury. The defendant has the right to proceed with a jury trial or a bench trial. A bench trial is where the judge acts as the jury deciding the verdict of guilty or not guilty. There are some positives and negatives to having both types of trials and this decision is usually made based on the facts of the case, as well as the specific judge who your case is before.
  • Jury selection. If the trial will be held before a jury, the defense and prosecution select the jury through a question and answer process called “voir dire.”
  • Pre-Trial motions. The defense and prosecution make arguments to the judge, in advance of trial, to admit or exclude certain evidence. These requests are called motions “in limine.” These are extremely important in DUI trials as the ability by the defense to exclude certain evidence such as breath test results can significantly damage the prosecution’s case.
  • Opening statements.These statements provide an outline of the case that each side expects to prove. The defense attorney may reserve opening argument until the conclusion of the defense’s case.
  • Prosecution’s case. The prosecution presents its main case through a direct examination of witnesses. Generally, this consists of testimony by the arresting police officer and a state expert to testify on any chemical test results.
  • Cross-examination. The defense may cross-examine the prosecution witnesses. It has been said that there is no greater mechanism for the finding of truth than a vigorous cross-examination.
  • Prosecution rests. The prosecution finishes presenting evidence.
  • Defense’s case. The defense has an opportunity to present its own evidence. The defendant has the right to testify and/or any expert or civilian witnesses the defense wished to call.
  • Cross-examination. The prosecutor cross-examines the defense witnesses.
  • Defense rests. The defense finishes presenting its case.
  • Prosecution’s closing argument. The prosecution makes its closing argument.
  • Defense’s closing argument. The defense makes its closing argument.
  • Jury instructions. The judge instructs the jury about what law to apply to the case and how to carry out its duties.
  • Jury deliberations. The jury deliberates and tries to reach a verdict which must be unanimous.
  • Post-trial motions. If the jury produces a guilty verdict, the defense often makes post-trial motions requesting the judge to override the jury and either grant a new trial or acquit the defendant.
  • Sentencing. Assuming a verdict of guilty, the judge either sentences the defendant immediately or sets sentencing for another day.

Attorney Macktaz’s experience as not only a successful criminal defense attorney but as a Former State Prosecutor gives him an extensive understanding of this process which he will use to your benefit should you go to trial.

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Josh is committed to following through with his clients and ensuring they are happy. He is not only thorough but he is very responsive and cares. I appreciated his help and he adequately explained the process.
Aly Starr
02:27 25 Feb 19
My Experience with Josh representing me was beyond what I could have hoped for. Josh explained his thoughts and exceptions on my case & followed through to receive the best outcome.. Cannot thank you enough Josh!
Troy McGann
13:12 15 Jan 19
I highly recommend the services of Josh Macktaz. He was responsive, efficient and very realistic about my case and the associated penalties. My legal costs were exactly as he suggested on our first call (which were fair). He is very knowledgeable of the Rhode Island law and has very strong contacts at the traffic tribunal. Related, he handled minor hearings without me which saved me money and travel time. He did the best possible job for a guy in my situation. Anyone that has a drunk driving charge in RI that does not consider Josh Macktaz is risking their future and wasting their dollars.
Chad M
23:10 13 Jan 19
My experience with Josh was beyond positive. If I could rate higher than five stars I would. Through out my entire process he was professional, straightforward, knowledgeable and understanding. It did not take long after meeting him I knew I needed him to represent me. Although my road was long Josh stuck with me every step of the way. There is no doubt in my mind without him I would not have been able to get the best possible outcome in my case. For that my family and I are forever grateful to him. He truly is a master of his craft and a fighter through and through. If you need representation look no further " This is the Man you want In your corner."
Daniel James
14:08 22 Dec 18
I hired Joshua Mactaz to represent me. He did an amazing job. He is very knowledgeable, hard worker and will do anything for you. I would recommend him to anyone and I would certainly have him represent me again.
Susan DeFedele
06:41 14 Dec 18
We always dealt with Josh Macktaz directly. He walked us through every step of the process and answered all our questions. His representation for us in the court room was handled professionally and we are extremely happy with the outcome.
Cheryl DeFeo
00:24 14 Dec 18
Amazing lawyer. Josh explained every step to resolving my issue and got me the best possible outcome for my case. He is very to the point and will fight to defend his clients in their toughest times. If you find yourself in trouble in Rhode Island, there is no one I would recommend more than Josh!
James McKeown
04:46 06 Oct 18
Prior to contacting Joshua I was a mess. He put me at ease during my free consultation and I decided he was the right person to represent me on the spot. He delivered on everything he said he would.
Anthony Mayer
19:38 14 Sep 18
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Chris Baccelli
19:59 12 Sep 18
After meeting with several lawyers I chose Mr. Macktaz to represent me. His professionalism and positive attitude helped ease the stress of a difficult situation. Josh provided a detailed timeline of the court process and was clear on what my expectations should be. He was prompt in returning my calls and answered any questions or concerns that I had. I would recommend Josh to anyone in need of representation as he went above and beyond in securing the best possible outcome for my case.
Paul DiLorenzo
04:31 14 Aug 18
With Joshua Macktaz, Professional... he helped in my case and I thank him for his help and I truly recommend him for any case, one of the best in the business
jose carrion
23:23 11 Aug 18
Mr. Macktaz was very professional and helped me with my legal issues swiftly and very effectively. Who knew what to do and every steps to take. Highly recommended, one of the best in the business.
Uodam Sann
15:08 10 Aug 18
I will start off by saying I knew nothing about the criminal or traffic court system until March 2018. I made a choice to have one too many and was arrested (DUI). Dealing with the embarrassment of an arrest and fear of losing my job, I "google searched for a DUI lawyer" and Josh Macktaz name appeared. Although apprehensive about using a a Google Review to determine my future, I made the call. This is my experience... 1) Mr. Macktaz made time to meet me the day I outreached him. (free consultation)2) During our initial meeting Macktaz outlined in detail what I had ahead of me; including court dates and car insurance details.3) Mr. Macktaz was at every court appearance and explained what was going to happen in court and the potential outcome.4) He was confident in what the outcome would be... and he was right!In closing... would I retain Mr. Macktaz if I ever needed criminal representation again? Yes, he would be my first phone call. He continually follows up with his clients. I never felt the need to outreach Mr. Macktaz since he called or emailed first!
22:15 03 Jul 18
Professional, experienced and extremely knowledgeable! Josh took the time to answer all my questions, and was always very responsive. He was able to put my mind at ease. He was able to get my charges dismissed and my case expunged. Best Attorney in RI!!!
15:56 09 May 18
Josh was very professional and extremely knowledgeable of my situation. He took the time to meet with me face to face multiple times to gather all the facts so he could develop the best plan possible. After collecting the facts he sat me down and he discussed all the options I had and why certain options may or may not be available in my situation. During this very difficult time, I at least felt comfortable that I received the best possible outcome and Josh is the reason why. A true professional through and through.
Neal Manaskie
19:28 23 Apr 18
For someone who is totally new to the court system Josh took the time to sit and explain options,situations and solutions before he even a dollar was given. He made you feel protected within the court system, and I would recommend him to anyone looking for good help. He was a total down to earth and knowledgeable person someone you'd want on your side. Any help or questions I had were solved within hours by email and he kept connected with me throughout the whole process. Me and my whole family are greatful for the help! Thanks Josh !
Dylan Nunez
02:54 22 Mar 18
Josh is unlike any attorney I've ever had contact with: and I have worked with and for several. Customer service is a key part of the great service he personally delivered. It is with great confidence that I am able to refer him. He brought me the best results possible. He also returned every single phone call. Thanks Josh!
Kathleen Whitmarsh
17:07 13 Mar 18

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