Pretrial Motions in California

Bakersfield DUI Attorneys

As your driving under the influence (DUI) case is being prepped for a full court trial, pretrial motions, which occur after any preliminary hearings, will occur and grant your defense counsel a unique opportunity to defend you. By taking the initiative to suppress or remove evidence against you from the case, a successful motion can take out the prosecution’s case at the metaphorical knees, leaving them with little to nothing left as evidence. Pretrial motions are complex processes that require an in-depth understanding of the law, as everything hinges on convincing a judge that certain evidence is unusable. It is not advised that you attempt to handle your pretrial motions yourself.

Contact Campbell Whitten and our Bakersfield DUI lawyers for more information.

What Happens at a Pretrial Motion?

The amount of information pertaining to your DUI arrest could seem limitless, as any number of factors may have or may not have been influential to your or the arresting officer’s behavior. In order to prevent trials from going on forever or from going off course, pretrial motions are held to allow evidence to be suppressed, removed, or deemed inadmissible. The end result will be a streamlined channel for which the court to follow during your trial, hopefully only relying on evidence that is trustworthy and unbiased.

Motions will usually address the following three questions:

  1. Is this physical evidence relevant and eligible to be used?
  2. Should a certain legal argument be permitted or barred?
  3. Can the defendant be forced to testify in this instance?

Many successful pretrial motions and evidence suppressions cite unlawful behavior from law enforcement. For example, if you were pulled over for suspicion of a DUI despite driving your car perfectly responsibly, your attorney could argue during a motion – not even having to wait for trial – that the stop was unlawful and that any evidence seized during the subsequent arrest is inadmissible.

You should be aware that the prosecution will also be there during pretrial motions. They will want to suppress evidence that could be positive for your case, as well as trying to convince the judge to rule against your own attorney’s suppression attempts. Make certain you can trust the person representing you and that they will not be afraid to go toe-to-toe with the prosecution’s forces.

Striking Priors from Your Case

A unique pretrial motion is the motion to “strike a prior” from the case. If you have been convicted of a DUI in the past, the judge, the prosecution, and your defense will know it, but the jury might not. If a prior conviction is stricken from the current case, the jury will be left unaware of whatever you may or may not have done in the past. The goal is to prevent them from viewing you in a negative, biased light based solely on past convictions when they really should only be judging you based on the evidence in your current trial.

Move Forward with Confidence

Every step of the DUI process is critical when it comes to properly defending yourself. Pretrial motions require the attention of a professional Bakersfield DUI attorney to ensure that every possible motion is considered and that you are given an opportunity to either have a fair trial or to have your charges dismissed before your trial even begins. To work with a forward-thinking and aggressive team of criminal defense lawyers, call 661.735.1038 or fill out a free online case analysis form today.