When Are These Motions Generally Filed In A DUI Case?
The suppression motion is typically filed early in a DUI case. There are reasons to file it within the first month or so of the case. Sometimes, we don’t file them until we get the evidence that we are looking for, but it’s more of a procedural thing as to why we would want to file it earlier. There are also times when we don’t think that we have a motion, and then we get the video and realize that we do have a motion. Thus, we’d file it at that point. The motions in limine are typically filed days before the trial is going to begin. Those motions are then discussed in chambers with the prosecutor, your DUI lawyer, and the judge.
Why Are These Motions So Important To My DUI Case? How Will They Help Me?
Anytime you go into trial, it’s like playing a game. Everyone needs to know the rules, and if one side doesn’t know them, or if one side is making them up as they go, then you are at a disadvantage. You’ve got to really set the rules ahead of time for the motions in limine, but the suppression motions are important in a DUI case. Typically, the evidence is that someone blew into a preliminary machine after the police officer pulled them over for driving suspiciously. The police smelled alcohol or the odor of alcohol on their breath, and ran them through a balancing test, standardized field sobriety test, walk and turn, one-legged stand test, the horizontal gaze nystagmus, or other tests.
The police do all of this stuff, and then they arrest you for a DUI. After they cuff the driver and take them in, they do another test or evidential test as they call it, and then they have all of this evidence and the reports from the DA’s office is enough to convict the person. In every case that comes in, we try to find a way to get the best possible result. Whether it means to win the case, try to get the charges reduced, or have the best chance to win at a jury trial, we are looking for anything that can help because the deck is stacked against the defense in criminal defense and DUI law.
Therefore, we use these suppression motions to try and knock out the overwhelming evidence that is used against us. If we can knock out a blood result, or if we can knock out everything that happened after the driving, that’s fantastic.
Another type of suppression motion is an invalid warrant. You can challenge a warrant. Just the other day, we won a case in San Mateo County where we got the evidence suppressed, which is probably going to make the case go away because there was an invalid warrant. We challenged the warrant in a suppression motion, and based on whether there was a technicality or not, it didn’t matter. It was enough to have the judge determine procedurally, that it was not done properly and left out the blood results.
In DUI law, it’s rare when you can get a prosecutor or District Attorney to actually dismiss the DUI charges just by negotiating with them. It is so rare, that I can say I don’t know anyone who is able to negotiate with a D.A. without bringing motions or having proper evidence. Now, sometimes, in the discovery process, that can happen.
For example, the discovery process is one way to show that maybe there was something wrong with a breath or blood test. Maybe there is contamination in the blood test. Maybe there is something wrong with the machine, and the machine was taken out of service. Or, there were problems in the simulator solution in the machine, as in it had not been changed when it should have been. Those things are long shots, but they’re worth doing in every case. In fact, I had a case this morning that we’ve been working on for many months, and during the discovery process, we were able to get the case dismissed. In this case, we got the records of the machine, and I was able to show the district attorney. They hadn’t looked at the machine records, they’d just looked at the results they had.
The machine records for the preliminary breath test showed that the machine was reading a bit high when they tested it before and after my client’s test, which was many months ago. I pointed that out to the D.A. along with a lot of other things, such as my client did well on the field sobriety tests, and that the only bad driving was speeding. Since we were so close with the machine, the margin of error, and the evidential test, there was enough reasonable doubt, which is what we are always trying to show a jury. The prosecutor felt that they could not prove the case and agreed to dismiss the case.
Again, that doesn’t happen very often. You usually need to run a suppression motion to make the whole thing go away, show a lot of discovery, or a jury trial. These are hard cases to fight, these are hard cases to win, and your best chance is to find a DUI lawyer who is familiar with the county that you got arrested in. It is essential to find an attorney who has been doing this for a long time, and who really understands the science, people, and procedures involved. It is crucial that he or she knows how to fight DUI cases. Get someone who understands field sobriety testing, breath testing, and blood testing. There are so many different areas to know and understand in the DUI world. When you hire a criminal defense attorney who does all of these different types of cases and DUI cases, that may not be the person who gives you the best chance to win your DUI case.
Get someone who focuses on DUI defense. They will give you the best chance to get the best result in your case because this is your life we are talking about. This is your criminal record, this is your ability to get jobs in the future, or keep your current job. This is your driver’s license. This is so many different things. You can miss travel in the future to many different places. There is a lot on the line, and you need to do it right. You need to get the best attorney you can, and make sure that they do DUI defense as their main or sole area of law.
Get your questions answered - Call Us 24/7 For a FREE Case Evaluation (415) 523-7878