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Pre-trial motions could get evidence dismissed in DWI cases

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2015 | Criminal Defense

When someone faces criminal charges, he or she may appear in court multiple times as part of the legal process. However, many people only go to court once for an arraignment when charged with driving while under the influence, as those accused of a DWI related charge tend to plead guilty. However, some Missouri residents may want to know what could happen before trial when one chooses to fight an alcohol related charge.

Pre-trial motions happen before trial and after a preliminary hearing, and the prosecution and defense make these motions to establish boundaries before a criminal hearing takes place. Pre-trial motions typically address who can or cannot testify, any evidence that will not be introduced and whether a case should be diminished.

The defense might make some of the following motions in a case dealing with a DWI charge. If a testing procedure had flaws, then the defense could ask for Breathalyzer test results to be excluded from trail. A defense attorney may also want a confession thrown out if an officer did not Mirandize a suspect first. A prior DWI conviction could be excluded from the record in some cases as well.

In certain cases, a pre-trial motion might grant the defense access to an officer’s personnel file. This generally only occurs if an officer’s conduct is called into question because the officer did something that may constitute harassment or mistreatment.

Many people feel they have no other option than to plead guilty to a drunk driving charge because of the evidence collected by the prosecution. However, mounting a defense may give one bargaining room, or successful pre-trial motions may render prosecuting an offense difficult. For example, paperwork errors made by an officer might also make some evidence inadmissible in court.


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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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