Pre-trial motions typically refer to written documents that are filed by a party requesting that the court take a certain action. For example, a defense attorney may file a pre-trial motion to exclude evidence that has been obtained inappropriately. These are used by both the defense and prosecution to limit the scope of evidence and arguments that can be made during the trial.
Once the pre-trial motion is filed, both parties will have the opportunity to argue the merits of the request to the judge. This usually happens during a court hearing. Pre-trial motions can be an extremely integral tool for defending DUI charges. If done well, successful motions can potentially keep the prosecution from bringing forth certain negative charges, offering damaging evidence during trial, or using certain witnesses against you. In fact, some pre-trial motions can lead to the entire criminal case being dismissed even before it ever goes to trial.
When Should Pre-Trial DUI Motions be Made?
Pre-trial DUI motions are generally filed after the preliminary hearing but before the case actually goes to trial. However, they may have strict deadlines depending on the type of motion to be made. In the event that the motion is not filed before its deadline, it is deemed to be waived, and your representation will no longer be able to bring the motion in the future, even if it is a valid one. These deadlines can be located in the local court rules or could be set by the judge overseeing the case.
There are many potential arguments made during pre-trial motions in a DUI case. The most common ones include:
- Evidence should be excluded because of foul play
- Confession made in regard to the DUI arrest by a defendant at the scene or even after should be excluded if authorities failed to advise the suspect of his Miranda Rights
- Evidence of racial bias, excessive force, false arrest, harassment, or criminal conduct
- A scientific evidence argument attesting to whatever was used to check the defendant is considered invalid or does not accurately reflect that the defendant was intoxicated.
What is a Motion to Dismiss?
A motion to dismiss is when a defendant requests that the court throw out the charges against them due to some defect. A motion to dismiss is different from pleading not guilty and wanting the court to dismiss because you did not commit the alleged crime. Rather, a motion to dismiss argues that the government or the party bringing in the case has either:
- Failed to follow some procedure required by law
- Made a mistake in the charging documents
- Violated the defendant’s rights in a way that warrants a dismissal
- The case is barred because the statute of limitations has lapsed.
DUI convictions can have serious, lasting consequences. If you have been charged with a DUI, it is wise to contact experienced defense attorneys like the ones provided by The Law Offices of Taylor and Taylor as soon as possible. Our lawyers can evaluate your case and file any appropriate pre-trial motions that are available to aid you against criminal charges.