Once an individual has been arrested and an initial Court date set, the DUI case begins to move very quickly unless it is slowed by a Jury Trial request.
An experienced DUI attorney knows this and will usually request a Jury Trial, unless they feel that significant headway can be made at the initial court date with either the arresting officer, the victim (of an accident) or a prosecutor.
Once a Jury Trial is requested and the attorney files the appropriate Discovery Motions with the agencies involved, the burden shifts to the State to comply thoroughly and in an appropriate and timely manner.
Failure to answer the Defense Attorney’s requests, in and of itself can be a valid reason to request a dismissal of your DUI case! Your attorney should know how to make this Motion.
Once the Discovery is supplied and we thoroughly review it, there will often be a Pre-Trial Conference scheduled by the Court to determine if a non-jury trial resolution to the DUI charge can be reached. It is at this Pre Trial Conference, that the experienced and well recognized Defense Attorney can potentially negotiate a reduced charge depending- on the specific facts of the case.
It is at this Pre-Trial Conference that we can begin to use the additional facts revealed by our investigation, coupled with any procedural or “Fatal Flaws” we might have discovered to attempt to convince the officer and the Court that the State’s case is weak.
An experienced DUI attorney is obviously the Defendant’s best chance at challenging the arrest and avoiding the uncertainty of a Jury Trial.
If the Pre Trial Conference does not result in a resolution satisfactory to the Defendant, then the Defense Team will continue to work toward Trial Preparation.
Supplemental and Pre Trial Motions:
The next step is often Pre Trial Motions whereby the Defense Attorney brings forth legitimate Motions designed to exclude certain portions of the State’s case against the driver. If these Motions are successful, a case that the officer might have been reluctant to negotiate at first, might now be viewed quite differently once the prevailing case law has been applied to the facts at hand. Even the most confident police officers will become more flexible when there is a possibility that key portions of their case in chief might not reach the Jury at Trial.
If your matter does have to proceed to a Jury Trial, we will prepare you for testifying, subpoena witnesses and attack each element of the State’s case. Again, each case is different and we will be more than happy to discuss the Trial Process if and when that need arises.
Peter Brown has tried numerous cases to verdict in both General Sessions and Municipal/Magistrate’s Courts. Make sure the attorney you hire has the same experience!
Administrative Order to Move Cases Quickly:
The Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court issued an Order in 2011 mandating that all DUI matters that were one (1) year old or older must be moved within 120 days. This was an effort by the Court Administration to relieve the clogged dockets of all the courts around the State. Defendants and Defense Lawyers must be aware that the local municipalities and magistrates are under a great deal of pressure to move cases off the Trial Docket. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. It is up to your Defense Attorney to try to make the situation work to your advantage if at all possible.
Please contact us immediately if you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI or a related offense. You may reach us by phone at 843-971-0099, or by clicking here to contact us for a free case evaluation.