After a Driving Under the Influence case has been filed, the matter can proceed in many different ways. A case can proceed to trial, or be resolved by way of a guilty plea and/or a diversion after negotiations. Prior to a case proceeding to trial, the defense can set the matter to a motion hearing. Pretrial motions raise arguments that certain evidence should be kept out of the trial, that certain witnesses must or can’t testify, or that the case should be dismissed altogether. The prosecutor and defense attorney make pretrial motions after a preliminary hearing and before a criminal case goes to trial.
Most DUI cases don’t reach the preliminary hearing stage. In most cases, the arraignment represents the first and last time a suspect will be in court. Most drunk driving suspects choose to plead guilty and avoid a jury trial. This is especially true if the evidence of their intoxication is strong.
Pretrial motions are requests made by either attorney before trial to limit the evidence a jury or judge will hear. Pretrial motions are tools used by the government and the defense to set the boundaries for trial. Pretrial motions usually address: 1) What physical evidence and testimony are allowed, 2) What legal arguments can and can’t be made and/or 3) Whether there’s any reason the defendant shouldn’t have to stand trial.
In some cases, a defense lawyer can make a motion to strike a prior DUI conviction depends on the circumstances. A motion to strike a prior conviction asks the court not to consider any prior convictions from the last seven years when deciding your sentence. Successfully excluding prior convictions can result in less jail time.
Your attorney might be able to successfully file a motion to strike your prior DUI conviction under the following circumstances: 1) Your prior DUI charge is unresolved, meaning there’s been no conviction yet, 2) The court record isn’t accurate, and you don’t have a prior DUI conviction and/or 3) There’s a constitutional reason why your prior charge shouldn’t count against you, such as a lack of probable cause for an arrest.
If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a criminal charge (drug related or otherwise), immediately contact a Seattle Criminal Lawyer. A Criminal lawyer is not going to judge you and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle Criminal Lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce penalties and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge, and many times even get them dismissed. So, it should go without saying that someone cited for a misdemeanor or felony should hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Lawyer as soon as possible. Criminal charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with a crime in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle Criminal Lawyer. SQ Attorneys can be reached at (425) 359-3791 and/or (206) 441-0900.