DUI and other misdemeanor criminal charges in Washington State will go through several phases before resolution. Each case is different, but in most Spokane DUI cases the Pre-Trial phase will last for three to five months and the court hearings will occur in monthly cycles. A Pre-Trial hearing is an opportunity for the judge to get an update on the case status from the defense and prosecution. Many different steps take place during Pre-Trial phase including investigation, suppression motions and negotiations. Throughout this phase you’ll have to follow the Pre-Trial Release Conditions that were ordered by the judge during your First Appearance Hearing.
The first DUI Pre-Trial Hearing is usually scheduled about a month after the First Appearance. During this first month your attorney should request a copy of the police report and copies of any video evidence on your case from the prosecuting attorney. If you submitted to a breath test at the police station, there will be a review of the maintenance records and functioning of the breath test machine. As of 2019, blood draw DUI charges will likely follow a different schedule due to delays in testing blood samples.
As part of the DUI investigation your attorney will analyze evidence and research legal motions to suppress evidence. These suppression motions are requests to limit or throw out the evidence the government can present at trial. Based on your defense strategy and your individual case goals your attorney may start by using a potential suppression motion as negotiating leverage against the prosecutor or they may immediately file a formal request to suppress evidence with the court.
Most DUI cases will have several Pre-trial Hearings occurring in monthly cycles. The Washington State Court website has a page where you can check your court date. Depending on several factors, including the status of negotiations and the long term goal on your DUI case, your attorney may advise you to obtain an alcohol/drug evaluation. If the case doesn’t resolve through negotiations, then your attorney might schedule your DUI charge for trial or discuss resolving your case through a deferred prosecution.
Although there are several phases that apply to every DUI case, each case must be analyzed differently since each client is different. If you’re facing a DUI or other criminal change, please give yourself the best chance for the best resolution and contact Cooney Law Offices today.