After a driver gets charged with an OVI offense, they will have to attend their first court appearance, known as the arraignment. At the arraignment, a plea of guilty or not guilty must be entered. If an attorney has been hired, they will help defend the charges brought against their client and have them enter a plea of not guilty. At the arraignment, the driver can also petition for limited driving privileges. After the arraignment, a pre-trial hearing will most likely be scheduled. The pre-trial hearing gives the prosecutor and defense attorney the chance to talk about the case, including the discovery and any possible resolutions. Depending on the case in question, there could be more than one pre-trial. If a case cannot be resolved at a pre-trial, the next move is to have a motion to suppress hearing. At the motion to suppress hearing, the evidence that could be used against the defendant will be presented. Eliminating any harmful piece of evidence at the motion to suppress hearing is crucial since it can dictate the outcome of the case in trial.
If the case is still not resolved, a trial will be set. At trial, all evidence allowed will be presented and the witnesses will be heard. The attorneys from both sides will present their case to a judge or jury. It is worth noting that the prosecution is responsible for proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. When both sides have been heard, the verdict will be read. It can either be a guilty or not guilty verdict. If the defendant gets a not guilty verdict, the case is discharged. However, if the verdict is guilty, a sentencing hearing will take place. At the sentencing hearing, the defendant will hear the penalties of the OVI conviction. Prior to trial, a plea agreement could be made. However, an attorney should always be consulted before a plea bargain or agreement is accepted.