The United States legal system has been tailored in order to ensure the rights of all its people. Most importantly, if you are charged with crimes, you will always have the right to a fair trial and will have the ability to appeal court decisions if you feel you have been wrongfully convicted.
When it comes to DUI convictions, they can be quite confusing. Dealing with these types of charges on your own can be time-consuming and stress-inducing. By hiring a Los Angeles DUI lawyer, your case can have the outcome you are looking for.
The complexity of some cases and all the rights you have in a court of law can be lost in translation. But a skilled lawyer will ensure that you are utilizing all the resources available to you. You might be able to file a Serna motion for your misdemeanor or felony charges.
Basics of a Serna Motion
A Serna motion is a legal motion that can dismiss misdemeanor or felony charges for a specific crime. This motion could dismiss cases such as this only if you were denied your right to a speedy trial. The main purpose of a Serna motion is to ensure that you aren’t prejudiced during your case.
In some cases, the longer a trial takes, the easier it is for witness testimony to fade or have important evidence lost. If a trial is to be delayed, there must be a very good reason for the amount of time taken.
Factors a Judge Can Consider for Serna Motion
In a court of law, the judge will consider three main factors to determine whether or not you have gotten a speedy trial or not. These three factors are:
- The length of your delay: Depending on the circumstances, how long a trial can be delayed can vary. For each case, the judge will need to look at all the reasons the case was delayed and decide whether or not the length of the delay was appropriate.
- Was there a justification for the delay in the trial?: When looking at this, the judge will examine the delay and determine whether or not the government has deliberately delayed the trial in order to make it more difficult to make a case.
- Has the extent of the delay affected your trial in any way?: If there have been signs of prejudice against you by the delay and caused harm, your right will have been denied.
If you are trying to prove any of these three factors has in fact occurred, you will need the experience of a Los Angeles Attorney. Working together on the necessary evidence required to prove your case will allow you to defend your rights.
What Are the Basic Rights to a Trial?
All will have the right to a speedy trial if one of the following situations occurs:
- You have been arrested
- You are facing criminal charges
- You have an indictment filed against you
- You are being held to answer questions for your charges after a preliminary hearing
In California, all accused of committing crimes or all charged with misdemeanor crimes will have the right to a speedy trial within 45 days. This is only the case if they are not already in police custody.
For those that have been charged with a felony DUI, you will have the right to a trial within 60 days. Your 60 days will begin when one of the following occurs:
- You have been arrested
- A holding order is issued for you following a preliminary hearing
- An indictment is filed
However, a felony conviction doesn’t always ensure you a right to a speedy trial in most cases. If you are accused of significant or severe crimes, the rules will not apply to your lawsuit.
Why Is a Speedy Trial Your Right?
Looking at things from a broader perspective, your right to a speedy trial is outlined in the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Furthermore, the California Constitution also outlines the right to a speedy trial in their state constitution on a state level.
Countless reasons can be used to justify your right to a speedy trial, which include:
- Avoiding lengthy jail time
- Decreasing your anxiety while awaiting the ability to resolve your case
- To protect someone’s ability to defend themselves
- Ensuring your right to a speedy trial is upheld
- Enabling the proper use of any legal resources
Outcomes of a California Serna Motion
When filling a Serna Motion, two potential outcomes can occur. Of course, every case has various factors that affect the outcome of each individual case. However, these two outcomes are the most common for the most part.
A Successful Serna Motion to Dismiss Your Case
When a Serna motion is filed to dismiss your charges, there must be extensive evidence that your right to a speedy trial has been violated. If this is the case, the prosecution will need to drop all charges against you.
The best-case scenario of filing a Serna motion is for all current charges to be dropped.
An Unsuccessful Serna Motion to Dismiss Your Case
On the other hand, when filing a Serna motion, the other potential outcome might not be as promising for your charges. If your motion gets denied, you will be convicted of the charges against you.
However, not all hope is lost. With the assistance of a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles, you can appeal your conviction. You and your attorney can argue that the court system was wrong to deny the motion because your trial was in fact impacted.
How Can Our Los Angeles DUI Lawyers Help
Reach out to our Los Angeles DUI attorneys if you still have questions or concerns about filing a Serna motion for any charges against you. Our team of lawyers will know exactly what to do to ensure that your rights are upheld.
There is no substitute for a strong legal defense team. If you wish to proceed with a case or would like a free consultation, contact us today.