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Motions Hearing DUI: What to Know Before You Appear


A motions hearing for a DUI case is held prior to trial. On which, your attorney may argue to suppress certain evidence or take various other actions.

Motions Hearing DUI Overview

If you are charged with a felony DUI or facing criminal charges, you may believe that you have little legal standing, especially if you were actually intoxicated during the stop. However, there are legal proceedings in place to ensure that you are not at the mercy of the judicial system. One such proceeding in a DUI case is a motions hearing or pre-trial hearing.

Choosing an attorney who is familiar with criminal law, motion hearings, and the laws related to DUI offenses is crucial when fighting for your rights in such cases. Christopher J. Mutimer of Scrofano Law has a proven record of successfully defending against DUI charges. Read on to learn more about how he and his team can help you navigate your motions hearing if you have been charged with a DUI or had a DUI arrest in Washington, DC, then contact us for a free case evaluation.

What Is a Motion Hearing?

Motion hearings are one of the earliest stages of the legal proceedings surrounding your DUI case. Both the prosecution and the defense will file pre-trial motions while the other side receives a written notice of the motion being filed. The courts will set a date for a court appearance where a judge will rule on the motions that have been filed by one or both sides. Your lawyer has a multitude of options, many of which are contingent on the indisputable facts surrounding your case.

While this phase of your legal process is early, it is one of the most important factors. Depending on the ruling of the judge in the motion hearing, your case can be totally dismissed, diverted, or at least have many of the findings against you dismissed. While having a DUI lawyer who is well-versed in jury trials is important, finding an attorney who knows how to successfully file motions and deal with a DUI motion hearing is often the difference in a favorable or unfavorable final ruling in court.

Types of Motions Filed in a Motions Hearing for DUI

Your defense lawyer can file a variety of trial motions in your DC DUI case, which will allow him or her to work with the court to set a date for a motion hearing regarding your DUI. DUI motions hearings can cover a variety of topics, many of which could work in your favor, given that you have the right lawyer by your side.

Your attorney can file for a motion hearing before your criminal trial begins. Or sometimes, a lawyer would like to file a motion to suppress evidence obtained through an illegal search. Sometimes law enforcement officers violate the right of common people, and evidence gained in this way is not supposed to be presented in court.

Among the many ways your defense attorney can make a motion is to file a motion to suppress evidence, as well as trial preparation, diversion, dismissing the charges completely, and improving the plea offer. These motions allow your defense attorney to have charges dropped that stem from anything that the arresting officer may have mishandled.

If the government’s case is finished at trial, the motion for summary judgment of acquittal in a DC DUI case will take place.

What to Expect at Your Motion Hearing DUI

Knowing what will happen during your motion hearing for DUI cases can help alleviate a great deal of the stress involved with the process. The most important thing for you, the defendant, to be aware of is what trial motions your attorney will be filing. Each motion carries with it a unique set of possibilities that can have a direct impact on your case’s outcome.

Under the law, a “motion to exclude unfavorable evidence” is often referred to as a “motion to change the facts.” While this is satirical to a certain extent, it does give your defense lawyer the ability to have certain facts excluded from the case against you.

These motions are often used when trying to establish facts that will be believed by the jury as factual and highly relevant, regardless of the defense’s best effort to modify or dispute them. The best criminal defense attorneys know when to file these motions and how to word them in a way that will have such facts removed from the evidence, thus making them inadmissible to a judge or jury. A successful motion to exclude certain evidence that may be unfavorable is often the difference between winning and losing a DUI case.

It is not uncommon for a first-time offender to be offered a plea deal by the prosecutor in a DUI case. While this may sound like a positive piece of information, the prosecution will offer a deal that is still highly favorable to their side. A motion to alter a plea agreement allows your defense lawyer to take some control of the negotiations regarding the eventual repercussions of your DUI.

A motion for diversion is another option that is regularly used by defense attorneys. Diversion relies heavily on the prior record of the defendant, the facts that cannot be suppressed in the case, and a commitment to accruing no additional charges for a certain period of time. It is not uncommon for defendants who have no prior record of DUI to have their current charges diverted for a period of 12 months. If that defendant is able to avoid any additional DUI charges over the course of that timeframe, the diverted charges can be dropped.

Motion to Dismiss DUI Case

The strongest action that your DUI defense attorney can take is to file a motion to dismiss a criminal case. While this may not always be possible, a criminal lawyer who is familiar with DUI case proceedings can often find a way to have all the charges against his or her client dismissed.

It is important to note that even if you were driving under the influence, a guilty verdict from a judge or jury is not guaranteed. There are several legal maneuvers that can be made by your attorney that can have an entire criminal case thrown out. For instance, if your attorney can prove that any part of the stop performed by the authorities fell outside of their legal purview, there is a chance that your entire case can be dismissed.

It is hard to find statistics for DUI cases that are dismissed as they are rarely reported. Regardless of the number of dismissed cases, it is important to note that it would be higher, but many people go into a DUI case uninformed of their rights. There are plenty of people who are arrested and subsequently charged for a DUI who assume that they have no legal recourse because they were driving under the influence.

Instead of becoming another statistic and potentially a victim of a flawed legal system or a police officer, reach out to our team for reliable guidance through what can be a very troubling time. Christopher J. Mutimer and the entire team of attorneys at Scrofano Law have successfully defended countless DUI cases in and around the DC area and have a track record of having charges diverted or even dismissed. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation, where we will thoroughly discuss your rights and options and begin setting you on the path to a better and brighter future.


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