Sunday, December 28, 2014

How often can you expect to have Court on a DUI case?

One of the most common questions I get asked as a Seattle DUI Attorney is how many times will I have to go to Court for my DUI case.  The answer is pretty simply.... It depends.   Here are the factors that will determine how often a defendant would have to go to Court for a DUI case.

If the DUI gets reduced to a lesser charge or something along those lines and a plea deal is negotiated then obviously there may not be that many Court dates.  Typically in this situation a defendant will have to attend at least 3-4 court dates.  The first hearing would be the arraignment, there may be something called a pretrial hearing where the defendant will enter the plea deal, and then there would be a sentencing hearing.  So depending on the number of pretrial hearings it potentially could be 3-4 dates.  

If the DUI gets set for trial then there could be many court dates.  Again like the previous example there would be an arraignment, a pretrial hearing, but instead of a sentencing hearing there would be a few other court dates.  The next hearing would be a motion hearing.  This is where a motion to dismiss or suppress evidence would be litigated.  The next hearing would be something called a readiness hearing or omnibus hearing.  Basically this is just where the parties go in front of the Judge and announce whether the trial will actually commence on the date chosen or whether it will be moved.  Then of course the trial date.  

I would say depending on the jurisdiction and how busy they are if a case gets set for trial that will include anywhere from 10-30 additional court dates.  For example I recently has a DUI jury trial here in Seattle and my client and I appeared approximately 30 times before the trial actually started.  This is actually a lot and not the norm but sometimes it happens.

About the author:  Matthew Leyba is a DUI Lawyer in Seattle.  He is the owner of Leyba Defense PLLC a DUI law firm. 

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