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What to Expect at Your DUI Pretrial Hearing

Attending your first DUI pretrial hearing can be a daunting experience, as you may not know what to expect. By familiarizing yourself with the process, you'll be able to enter the courtroom prepared and ready to face the prosecution. In this article, learn all about what happens at a DUI pretrial hearing.

Review the Charge and Plea Agreement Options.

Your pretrial hearing is your opportunity to review the charge or charges against you, as well as plea agreement options that may be available. During the pretrial hearing, you and your attorney will go over each charge in detail and discuss possible plea agreements that may allow for a lesser sentence if you plead guilty. Be sure to discuss all of your legal options with your attorney beforehand so you are fully informed when entering into a plea agreement.

Understand the Prosecutor's Evidence.

Knowing the evidence that the prosecution has against you is one of the most important tasks before a DUI pretrial hearing. Your attorney will help you review the evidence and determine how much strength the prosecutor's case has. This will help you understand what the likely outcome of your case may be and will also assist in negotiating any plea agreement that may be available. Make sure to ask your attorney if there is any evidence in your favor, such as an alibi or inconsistent witness reports, that can be used to counter the prosecutor's claims.

Present Evidence in Your Defense.

After reviewing the evidence against you and any evidence in your favor, you and your DUI attorney will be able to present this to the court during your case. Your attorney can provide details of why the prosecutor's evidence is not strong enough to result in a conviction. They may also choose to introduce witnesses that can provide character references or support your version of events. By doing this, they can help create doubt in the minds of the judges and potentially avoid a guilty verdict.

Consult with a Criminal Lawyer for Advice.

Before attending a DUI pre-trial hearing, you should take the time to speak with a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer will be able to review your options and situation with you, answer any question that you have regarding the impending trial, and provide advice as to what your most likely outcome may be. Additionally, they can explain any potential penalties you may face if found guilty so that you know exactly what is at stake before entering the court room.

Prepare for Sentencing or Further Negotiations.

At the DUI pre-trial hearing, your lawyer may be able to reach potential agreements or deals with the prosecutor. If a deal is not available, you and your defense attorney can use the information obtained at the hearing to better prepare for trial. Or, if applicable and you choose to plead guilty upon entering court, the judge may issue sentencing during the pretrial hearing. Your lawyer can best explain what will likely happen during the hearing and recommend whether pleading guilty is worth it in your situation.

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