In Connecticut, DUI cases are often resolved by plea deals that are offered by the state’s attorney and accepted by the defendant after discovery and negotiations take place. Some cases, however, cannot be resolved without a trial, so there is a need for motion hearings. The case might not be resolved because the attorneys on opposing sides cannot come to a resolution through negotiations, or the defendant refuses the offer or offers proposed by the state’s attorney. On this page, you can learn more about motion hearings and cases that can’t be resolved before trial and the subsequent necessary hearings involved.
Motions and Motion Hearings
In cases that cannot be resolved before trial, the prosecutor and the defense attorney will have the opportunity to file motions with the court. Motions are requests to the court to get some type of ruling in favor of their side. Many times, motions filed by the defense side involve some type of request to have evidence such as breath or blood tests, statements made to police, or field sobriety tests excluded. For example, evidence of statements made to police officers will be excluded by the court when the statements were taken in violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights, such as Miranda rights (the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, etc.).
Defendants are also entitled to discovery, which is any evidence that is necessary for the case and goes to the guilt or innocence of the defendant. In criminal cases like DUIs, discovery could include blood or breath test results, statements made to police, witness statements, field sobriety tests, and video surveillance. Defense attorneys will need to file a motion requesting discovery from the prosecutor, since the state works with the arresting police department to obtain all of the evidence of the DUI and the arrest.
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In Connecticut, prosecutors generally follow an open file policy from the start of the case in order to allow the defense to view the police report and usually retain a copy as well. Prosecutors are supposed to be truth-seeking, and it goes against their ethical duties to withhold discovery from the defense, even if it helps the defense’s case.
After filing motions with the court, the attorneys have the chance to be heard by the court through oral arguments. This is an important part of pre-trial as it gives defense attorneys the opportunity to attack aspects of the state’s case before going to trial. The result of oral arguments can, in some cases, result in the exclusion of evidence that is harmful to the defendant. All of these motion hearings occur prior to a trial because the judge makes determinations on evidence, not the jury. The judge may hear oral arguments and grant or deny them or wait until the day of trial to hear arguments and make a determination.
Help With Your Charge
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Connecticut, the process can take a long time and end up causing a lot of stress, especially going through the process without a good lawyer. A DUI lawyer will understand the importance of discovery and motions to exclude evidence. If you have been arrested for a DUI, call Lady DUI today to get the assistance of a lawyer.