What is a pretrial conference for driving under the influence (DUI) charges (California Vehicle Code (VEH) § 23152) in California? A pretrial conference is a legal proceeding that takes place before your criminal trial. It gives your lawyer an opportunity to make a number of motions tied to your case in Los Angeles.
You may also get offers related to a plea bargain at a pretrial conference. Read on to find out more about the specific legal challenges associated with a pretrial conference and how a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles could help with your charges.
Review the Basics About DUI Pretrial Conferences
Many drivers are not sure what to expect from a DUI pretrial conference. First of all, you should know that this conference will not occur right away. In fact, the first part of your case will likely be your arraignment hearing. An arraignment hearing occurs before a pretrial conference. During your arraignment hearing you will:
- Learn the charges you’re facing.
- Plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest.
After your arraignment hearing, your lawyer will begin a period of discovery. During this period, your lawyer investigates your case and gathers evidence for your defense. The pretrial conference generally occurs after the period of discovery. This is often several weeks after your arrest and arraignment hearing.
You should know that pretrial conferences are not the same as your criminal trial. Often, a small number of people attend a DUI pretrial conference. You can expect to see the judge who is handling your case, the prosecution, and your lawyer at a pretrial conference.
Motions at DUI Pretrial Conferences in Los Angeles
Your lawyer may file motions to help your defense during your pretrial conference. Examples of common motions used in DUI cases include:
Motions to Suppress
A lawyer might file a motion to suppress in order to block evidence against you. The courts could suppress evidence if it was gathered illegally. For example, if you were stopped by a police officer without due cause, any evidence they gathered may get blocked.
Pitchess motions focus on gathering information about the police officer who arrested you. A lawyer may file a Pitchess motion if you believe you were mistreated by a law enforcement officer. This allows the lawyer to look for instances of law enforcement misconduct.
Motions to Split a Blood/Urine Sample
You probably took a blood alcohol content (BAC) test after your DUI arrest. The police are supposed to keep samples of the blood or urine they collected for the test. A lawyer may request a portion of this sample to perform independent testing. The results of an independent test could be in your favor.
Motions to Dismiss
Finally, a Los Angeles DUI lawyer could file a motion to dismiss your case, which would end your legal battle. The court might agree to dismiss your case if the prosecution lacks evidence against you. Call us at (310) 896-2724 to learn more about motions and pretrial conferences in Los Angeles.
Plea Bargains and DUI Pretrial Conferences in Los Angeles
The prosecution might offer you a plea bargain at your DUI pretrial conference. A plea bargain is a deal designed to resolve the criminal charges you are facing. You may choose to accept a plea bargain to reduce the penalties you are facing. However, some plea bargains are not in your best interests.
You should have a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles review any plea bargain before you accept it, because you may still face fines or even jail time with a plea bargain.
Additionally, some plea bargain charges are priorable. For example, let’s say you accept a “wet” reckless plea bargain. This charge will be treated like a DUI conviction if you are arrested for a subsequent DUI. This means you could face increased penalties for future arrests. Contact us to learn more about plea bargains here in Los Angeles. We’re ready to discuss all aspects of your defense right now.
Learn More About DUI Pretrial Conferences with a Lawyer
You can get straight answers about your DUI pretrial conference by reaching out to us right now. Let a Los Angeles DUI lawyer start working on your case immediately. We are ready to handle all aspects of your case, including your pretrial conference. Find out more by contacting us for a free consultation.
You may reach us if you call (310) 896-2724 or fill out our online contact form.