Arizona Supreme Court Creates New Test for Jury Trial

In the case of Derendal v. Griffin and Phoenix, the Arizona Supreme Court has created a new test for determining whether misdemeanor defendants have Constitutional rights to jury trials.  Many are concerned that the new standard may impact whether a person charged with DUI will be entitled to a jury trial.

The Arizona Supreme Court stated that courts are no longer to consider the “moral quality” of misdemeanor crimes.  Now courts will focus primarily on the crime’s severity of punishment.  However, at the present time, Arizona law still gives a DUI defendant the right to a jury trial.

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