If a case cannot be resolved without a trial, both the defense and the prosecution are given an opportunity to file motions, called the pre-trial motions. A motion is simply a request made of the court to grant some relief in a case. Usually, motions request that some part of the State’s evidence be excluded from trial when the case goes to court. This evidence could include the breath or blood test result, or field evaluations.
Rule 16. Pretrial Conferences; Scheduling; Management
Pre-trial motion practices for both the prosecution and defense in DUI or criminal case are governed by Rule 16 of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure. The following sub-sections are listed under Rule 16 of the Arizona Rules:
- Purposes of a Pretrial Conference
- Attendance and Matters for Consideration at a Pretrial Conference
- Pretrial Orders
- Final Pretrial Conference and Orders
Pre-trial Motions Defined Under Arizona Rules
The Pre-trial motion practices take place before the trial, following the defendant’s arraignment.
The following types of motions can be filed:
- Motion in Limine
- Motion to Suppress
- Discovery Motion
- Pitchess Motion
- Motion to Strike Prior DUI/DWI Convictions
Once a pre-trial motion is filed, a short hearing is held with the judge where both the defense attorney and the prosecutor are present. Both sides are allowed to argue their position and the judge will then rule on it. This ruling could either be a ‘grant’ or ‘denial’. The court must decide every pretrial motion before trial unless it finds good cause to defer a ruling.
DUI Pre-Trial Motions
At a DUI pre-trial motion, the defense attorney can raise specific concerns and questions to the judge. These concerns could include:
- Modifying release conditions that seem unduly harsh or unjustified
- Reducing the charges from a felony to a misdemeanor
- Excluding certain evidence or testimony from being admitted in court
- Prohibiting the use of any prior conviction
- Complete dismissal of charges
Your defense attorney may file any of these motions for a number of reasons. However, he or she must be able to present an effective argument for the court to be able to ‘grant’. Based on the ruling given by the judge, it determines whether or not your DUI case even goes to trial.
You also get an idea of how much negotiating room your DUI attorney has with the prosecution to get your charges reduced. In case the defendant is convicted of the crime, pre-trial motions assist the parties and the judge to determine the appropriate DUI penalties the person will be facing.
According to the Arizona Criminal Rule of Procedure 16, the following provisions or requirements must be met:
- Motions must be made 20 days before trial
- Opposing party has 10 days to file their response
- Motions to dismiss charges may be raised at any time
Any motion, defense, or objection that is not made timely will be precluded. However, exceptions may be granted by the court if reasonable diligence was exercised.
Contact An Experienced Attorney
Pre-trial motions are most effective when they are determined and filed by an experienced criminal defense attorney. An experienced attorney will know that the pre-trial motions have to be filed early and adequate legal research and proper legal citations must be included in the motion. He or she will also know that motions must be plausible and material.
If you are facing a DUI charge in Arizona, get in touch with the law offices of Brian D. Sloan immediately for a solid and strong DUI defense strategy. Call 480-900-0384 or 602-900-0384 for a Free Initial Consultation.