DUI Pre-Trial Motions
While a majority of driving under the influence cases don’t make it past the arraignment stage, some go on to the preliminary hearing. If your DUI case has made it to a preliminary hearing, the next phase of the criminal court process is what is known as pre-trial motions. You cannot proceed to a trial until certain boundaries and rules are made.
Participants Of The Pre-Trial Motions
The people who appear at a pre-trial motion are the judge, the prosecution and your defense attorney. After arguments from each side are made, the judge will have to determine such things as who is testifying during the trial, what evidence can be presented to the jury and whether or not you (the defendant) should stand trial. This is also the time where the judge will make a ruling on the legal arguments each side may and may not state.
If your attorney feels that it’s unlikely you’ll win your case before a jury due to the evidence against you, he or she may make a plea bargain with the prosecution. Usually, a plea bargain happens earlier during the criminal process and involves you pleading guilty to drinking and driving, but facing less serious punishments such as jail time. In contrast, your defense attorney may also try to convince the judge that your case should be dismissed if the prosecution does not have enough evidence against you.
An Attorney May Suppress The Prosecution's Evidence
The number one reason you want an experienced DUI defense attorney is for the suppression of evidence. It’s the job of the prosecution to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and they need evidence to accomplish this. A qualified defense attorney can take the wind out of their sails by finding legal ways to keep the evidence against you out of court. For example, if the police officer did not properly administer your breath test, how can the jury know that you were over the legal limit? This kind of evidence may be left out of court if your attorney can prove any inaccuracies.
Chances are if your case makes it to trial, your defense attorney has good reason to allow your case to have gone this far. It may mean that the prosecution’s case is so weak that you’ll win in court.
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