A DUI trial may contain the same basic procedures as other jury trials for traffic-related incidents and a DOL hearing. However, in a DUI Trial, there may be a few other important elements to be considered:
Bringing Forth an Expert Witness
DUI trials, in general, will almost always involve a scientific measurement for which the prosecutors will need an expert witness to explain the evidence and what it means. An expert witness is a professional with knowledge of a process or matter that is not commonly understood by most people, such as the science and accuracy of blood tests to determine blood alcohol concentrations (BAC). For DUI prosecutions, police officers are sometimes considered experts in an area due to their training in the enforcement of DUI laws. However, expert witnesses may be expensive, costs may range from $1,000 or more.
Using Observer Witnesses
Observer witnesses are what you may normally think of when you think of a witness. They may just be regular individuals who may testify on what they know or what they saw. These types of witnesses, however, are usually rare among DUI cases. The usual defense in the majority of DUI cases may simply be composed of cross-examination of the prosecution’s witness and a testimony any expert witnesses that the defense may have. Normally, the defense’s expert witness may be an intoxication expert, who may attempt to discredit a variety of BAC tests.
The Suppressing of Evidence
If the officer who arrested you is found to have illegally obtained evidence that the prosecution intended to use against you in court, you may have the ability to suppress the evidence so that it cannot be used at trial. This is called a “motion to suppress” and it is typically scheduled several weeks in advance of the trial itself. As this type of method can be technical and complex, it may be best to use the help of an attorney to do this for you.
Striking a Prior
If you choose to plead guilty or are being convicted of a DUI for the second or third time, you may be given a much more severe penalty than someone who is being convicted for the first time. For this heavier penalty to occur, the prosecution may have to also charge you with the earlier convictions. This is called “charging the prior” and the state of Washington has a limit to how for back the prosecution can go in time to charge a prior DUI offense. The exact procedure may depend on whether you were adequately informed or waived certain rights earlier at any hearings related to the previous offenses. As a result of this motion’s complex nature, you may want to seek out an experienced Washington DUI attorney.
Murphy’s Law Offices has handled DUI cases in Washington for many years and is an experienced DUI attorney. We will carefully review the details of your case and contact you with the best options for resolving your DUI. To set up a free consultation, call Murphy’s Law Offices today at (253) 312-6122.