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DUI/DWI Pre-Trial Motions

The Next Phase of Your DUI Case

Pre-trial motions are like the pre-game of a big sporting event. Boundaries and rules are established as a means of holding a fair trial. Right after the preliminary hearing, your next appearance in court will be for pre-trial motions.

A motion is really an argument as to what evidence should be kept of out the trial, who is not allowed to testify and who must testify and also if the case should even make it to trial or be dismissed altogether. Who benefits from pre-trial motions? Both the prosecution and the defense.

For example, let’s pretend your DUI case involved a breath test. Your blood alcohol content result was .09% - just over the state’s legal limit of .08%. Since your test results are so close to the state’s limit, your attorney may be able to argue that the breath test device was not functioning properly that day. Breathalyzers are known for inaccuracies because they misread such things as cough syrup, gum or mints as alcohol. Perhaps these factors attributed to you failing your breath test. Or maybe the police officer who gave you the breath test had not been properly trained on using the device and this also affected your test results. If so, your attorney can argue that breath test results should not be allowed to be introduced in trial.

Another factor might be that the police officer did not read you your Miranda rights, causing you to confess to drinking and driving. However, as stated above you may not have been above the legal limit due to an improper testing or a malfunctioning breath test device. Your lawyer can ask the judge to exclude your confession because you were not informed of your right to remain silent.  If the officer believed you to have failed your One Leg Stand field sobriety test, your attorney might want to point out that you have severe arthritis causing you to be in pain while balancing on one foot.

As you can see, pre-trial motions are an important part of your DUI case. It’s important to inform your attorney of anything you might think may help your case – even if it’s deemed small in your eyes.