It may take a significant amount of time to resolve a DUI (driving under the influence) charge in California. Much of this time is taken up by the pre-trial phase of your case. So, what happens during the DUI pre-trial phase of a court case?
You may decide on your plea during the early pre-trial stage of your case. Your lawyer may also investigate your charges, put forward a number of motions, and focus on plea bargains during this period. Get more information about the pre-trial portion of your case right here.
Learn About Your Arraignment Hearing in California
Your arraignment hearing is one of the first portions of your DUI case. Many important things happen at your arraignment hearing. You will learn about the charges you are facing at this hearing. You must also enter your plea at your arraignment. You may plead:
- Not guilty.
- No contest.
Drivers who plead no contest or guilty will complete their cases at the arraignment hearing. The court sentences you if you plead guilty or no contest. At that point, you must adhere to the orders of the court. You may face fines, jail time, and other penalties for a DUI conviction.
However, you may also plead not guilty. Pleading not guilty allows your case to continue onward. However, your case does not go directly to trial. A lawyer may help you with your pre-trial legal needs. Get help on your side now by calling (310) 929-6503.
Lawyers Investigate Your Case During the Pre-Trial Period
A lawyer may dig into the facts of your situation during your pre-trial period. Your lawyer may monitor police officers as they build a case against you with the prosecution. Your lawyer may also focus on assessing the results of your blood alcohol content (BAC) test.
Note that the investigative portion of your case may take some time. Do not be surprised if it takes a few weeks or even months to handle a DUI investigation. Stay informed about the progress of your case by speaking with your lawyer regularly.
Consider Pre-Trial Motions in Your DUI Case
Your lawyer may file several pre-trial motions before your criminal trial. These motions may help weaken the prosecution’s case, making it easier to resolve the DUI charges in your favor. Depending upon your situation, a lawyer may request:
A Motion to Suppress Hearing
A motion to suppress hearing may block evidence in your case. A lawyer might request this hearing if your rights were not respected during a DUI arrest. Any evidence obtained illegally could be stifled in a motion to suppress hearing.
A Pitchess Hearing
In many cases, the testimony of a law enforcement officer is important for a DUI conviction. Your lawyer may work to weaken the officer’s report with a Pitchess motion. This could help strengthen your defense for DUI charges.
A Probable Cause Hearing
Law enforcement officers are only supposed to stop you if they have reason to believe you are breaking a law. Sometimes, law enforcement officers stop vehicles without probable cause. In this case, the court could dismiss the charges against you.
Plea Bargains and the Pre-Trial Process for a DUI
Finally, a DUI lawyer may focus on your plea bargain during the pre-trial period. A plea bargain allows you to seek reduced penalties for a DUI. However, you must admit guilt to a different charge to accept a plea bargain.
Sometimes, accepting a plea bargain is the best way to resolve DUI charges in California. However, you should always allow a lawyer to assess the plea bargain before you accept it. Your lawyer may make sure that the deal is fair for you.
If your charges are not dismissed and you do not accept a plea bargain, the pre-trial stage of your case may end. In this situation, your case may proceed to court. A judge and jury will then decide your case. You may get help during any stage of your case by contacting a DUI lawyer for assistance.
Speak to a Lawyer About What Happens During a DUI Pre-Trial
Many things happen during the pre-trial phase of a DUI case. You’ll learn about your charges and enter your plea. You may also work with a lawyer to build a strong defense. Start working on your defense right now by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. Discuss your pre-trial options with a free consultation. We are ready to go to work for you right now.
Contact us today by calling (310) 929-6503. You may also fill out our online contact form to get help.