A DUI preliminary hearing in California may seem daunting at first. It is important to note that the hearing is not a trial. Rather, the hearing is used to determine whether sufficient evidence is present to proceed with a criminal case.
Partnering with a criminal defense lawyer is key for those who face a DUI preliminary hearing in Los Angeles. A Los Angeles DUI attorney can provide insights into what to expect during a preliminary hearing. The lawyer can answer common questions about a preliminary hearing and help a defendant prepare accordingly.
What Is a DUI Preliminary Hearing in California?
The U.S. Department of Justice defines a preliminary hearing as a “mini-trial.” The hearing comes after a defendant has entered a plea of not guilty. A preliminary hearing is not mandatory, and a defendant may decide to waive it.
During a preliminary hearing, a prosecutor is responsible for showing evidence that indicates a trial is warranted. Along with presenting evidence, the prosecutor can question witnesses, and the defense can do the same. Following the hearing, a judge must decide if there is reason to believe a defendant committed a crime.
How a defendant treats a DUI preliminary hearing can have far-flung effects. This individual is in a great position if a defendant has a Los Angeles DUI lawyer. In this instance, the defendant’s lawyer can do their part to convince a judge to dismiss the case.
Call us today to schedule an appointment about your case so you have a clear understanding of what you face in the legal process.
Can I Be Found Guilty of a DUI at a Preliminary Hearing?
During a preliminary hearing, a defendant cannot be found guilty of a DUI. During the hearing, a judge reviews the prosecutor’s evidence and any witness testimony. The judge then decides if there is enough information to conduct a trial.
There are several reasons why a judge may dismiss a DUI case following a preliminary hearing, including:
No Probable Cause
Probable cause is a legal requirement for trial. A prosecutor is responsible for showing a defendant had probable cause in a DUI case. Without this proof, a judge may dismiss a DUI case because of a lack of probable cause.
Sometimes, a police officer does not read an individual’s Miranda rights or makes other mistakes in the line of duty. At these times, a defendant may argue that a police error warrants the dismissal of their DUI case. If the defendant is successful, a judge may comply with this request.
Procedural Errors in the Questioning of Witnesses
A prosecutor must follow procedures when questioning witnesses in a preliminary hearing. These procedures must be followed. If a prosecutor does not, a judge may move to dismiss a DUI case based on procedural errors during the witnesses’ questioning.
Even though a defendant cannot be deemed guilty in a preliminary hearing, it is beneficial to plan for it. A DUI lawyer in Los Angeles can help their client do just that. The attorney can explain a defendant’s rights in a preliminary hearing and ensure this individual is well-prepared for what lies ahead.
What Rights do I Have in a DUI Preliminary Hearing?
Defendants may feel like their personal rights are sacrificed in a preliminary hearing. Yet, a defendant has rights in the hearing, and making the most of them is paramount. Some of the rights a defendant possesses in a preliminary hearing include:
Right to Cross-Examine Witnesses
A prosecutor may call witnesses to testify against a defendant. The defense can cross-examine these witnesses. This allows the defense to ask questions that may raise doubts about the validity of witness testimony.
Right to Present Witnesses
In addition to cross-examining witnesses, a defendant can present witnesses of their own. A defendant must carefully select any witnesses who can provide testimony. These witnesses can strengthen a defendant’s argument for having a DUI charge dismissed.
Right to Be Represented by an Attorney
A DUI attorney in Los Angeles can represent a defendant in a preliminary hearing. The lawyer can speak on the defendant’s behalf and handle this individual’s legal defense. As the preliminary hearing progresses, the attorney will do what is necessary to advocate for the client.
Hiring a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles is a terrific option to contest a criminal charge. The lawyer can represent a defendant during a preliminary hearing and after it ends. This attorney can work in lockstep until their litigation gets resolved.
A DUI attorney in Los Angeles can ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way so you do not have to worry about being railroaded by the justice system.
What Happens After a DUI Preliminary Hearing?
In many instances, a defendant gets charged during a DUI preliminary hearing. A judge moves the case to a trial court within 15 days of the preliminary hearing. The defendant will need to appear at a new arraignment.
When charged during a DUI preliminary hearing, a defendant should resist the urge to panic. Instead, the defendant can start to prepare a pre-trial motion. This can be done with help from a criminal defense attorney. A Los Angeles DUI attorney is an expert resource for preliminary hearings and litigation.
The lawyer can answer any questions a defendant has about the legal system. Plus, the attorney constantly searches for ways to help the defendant accomplish their desired case result. Call our office today to schedule an appointment with a member of our team.
The sooner you do, the likelier it becomes that you will be able to retain your driver’s license.
Do I Need to Hire an Attorney for Representation in a DUI Preliminary Hearing?
A defendant must not have an attorney for representation in a DUI preliminary hearing. However, hiring a lawyer is beneficial. The attorney offers legal help in a preliminary hearing and many other areas.
Even though it is not required, having an attorney by your side makes it a much less stressful process when facing a DUI charge. Before a preliminary hearing, a DUI attorney can get a defendant up to speed. The lawyer can explain the steps of a preliminary hearing.
This attorney will ensure the defendant knows exactly what to expect. A DUI lawyer leaves no stone unturned in their quest to have their client’s DUI charge reduced or dropped. The attorney presents a strong argument in a preliminary hearing.
The lawyer works diligently to represent the defendant’s best interests if the hearing leads to a trial. Call a criminal defense attorney today to discuss the DUI charges against you and build a case to have them reduced or dropped.
Where Can I Find an Attorney for a DUI Preliminary Hearing?
We can assist if you want to hire a DUI attorney in Los Angeles. We make it easy to connect with a best-in-class Los Angeles DUI lawyer at any time. To search for a DUI attorney, get in touch with us today.
Do not wait a moment longer to talk to a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles about your case. You have just 10 days from the date of arrest for DUI to keep your driver’s license. The longer you wait to talk to an attorney, the likelier it becomes that you will lose your license, preventing you from being able to transport yourself to work.
Call today to schedule an appointment.