What is a motion hearing for a driver accused of driving under the influence (DUI)? A motion hearing is a special meeting that occurs before your criminal trial in California. This hearing allows your lawyer to make a number of “motions” which could:
- Block evidence against you.
- Get your charges dismissed.
- Strike previous “strikes” from your criminal record.
- Learn more about the police officer who arrested you.
These are only examples of motions associated with DUI charges in California. Find out more about a motion hearing with this article.
Timeframe for a Motion Hearing in California
As we mentioned, a motion hearing should occur before your criminal trial begins. However, it will not take place immediately after your arrest. Generally, this hearing occurs after your DUI lawyer has had time to complete “discovery.”
During the discovery phase of your case, your lawyer will investigate the charges you’re facing and dig into the facts of your case. Your lawyer will also monitor the police investigation, to make sure they are respecting your rights.
Your motion hearing will get scheduled by the court. During this hearing, the judge makes sure both your lawyer and the prosecution are ready to proceed. The judge also hears any motions your lawyer has to make. Generally, large crowds do not attend motion hearings for DUI cases.
To learn more about the timeline for your criminal case, contact a DUI lawyer by calling (310) 896-2723.
Motions to Block Evidence for a DUI Case
Your DUI lawyer may take steps to block evidence against you after a DUI arrest in California. Your lawyer will do this with a motion to suppress to prevent the prosecution from using evidence that was gained after a violation of your rights.
For example, a lawyer could work to block a confession you made under duress. Any evidence gained through an illegal search could also be blocked in California. Sometimes, a lawyer may work to dispute the validity of an arrest by digging into the police officer’s record.
Reviewing the officer’s past may require your lawyer to file a Pitchess motion. The results of this motion could call the officer’s actions into question.
Motions to Dismiss DUI Charges in California
A DUI conviction in California could have serious effects on the rest of your life. In some cases, a conviction can result in:
- Jail or prison time
- Restrictions on your driver’s license
However, you do not face these penalties if a lawyer gets your charges dismissed. A lawyer can file a motion to dismiss your charges at a motion hearing. The judge could agree to dismiss the charges you’re facing if there is no significant evidence against you. However, not all DUI charges are dismissed in California.
Prior Strikes and Your Motion Hearing in California
California uses a three-strikes program for some felony offenders. DUI charges may count as a strike in some cases, generally if the DUI resulted in a serious accident. You may face a lengthier prison sentence if you have past strikes on your record at the time of your DUI arrest.
A lawyer could file a motion to temporarily remove these strikes. This motion can be used to request a Romero hearing. The judge can then decide to set aside your past strike, allowing you to avoid a doubled prison sentence. Note that, if a felony DUI is your third strike, you could even end up facing life in prison.
Discuss All Aspects of Your Case with a DUI Lawyer
Handling a DUI case on your own in California can seem difficult. Get help on your side by reaching out to a lawyer. Your lawyer will handle your motion hearing, investigate your case, and defend you in court.
Your lawyer can also help you get a plea bargain after a DUI arrest. Plea bargains allow you to resolve your charges outside of court. However, not all of these deals are the same. Discuss your options today with a DUI lawyer.
Contact a DUI Lawyer in California for Help Now
A motion hearing is a legal meeting that occurs before your criminal DUI trial. Your lawyer will use this hearing to block evidence against you or get your charges dismissed. Find out more about a motion hearing by contacting the Simmrin Law Group for help now. Complete our online contact form or call (310) 896-2723.
Reach out to us now for a free consultation.