DUI Pretrial Hearing

Written by Amy Hall
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A DUI pretrial hearing is a hearing after the arraignment and before the trial. The arraignment is the first court appearance after the Washington DUI arrest. During the arraignment, the defendant appears before a judge to hear all the charges being brought against him or her, as well as learns what bail is. This is when the defendant pleads guilty or not guilty.

During the pretrial hearing, the attorneys for both sides tell the court what motions they will be bringing. It is during this time that plea bargains are often negotiated. If a plea is not entered, than the case will go to trial. It is not uncommon for there to be more than one DUI pretrial hearing.

The Important DUI Pretrial Hearing

If you have any drunk driving convictions in the state of Washington, it may be extremely difficult for your attorney to plead "not guilty" on your behalf if the evidence supports that you were indeed driving while intoxicated. However, if it is your first offense, and there are any loopholes in the police report, you may have some leeway in terms of getting your case dismissed, or at least having the charges reduced. It is before the DUI pretrial hearing that you will discuss these matters with your attorney.

If it can be shown that the instrument used to measure your blood alcohol content was not working properly, you may be able to get the case totally dismissed. If the police officer who stopped you did not give you a valid reason for doing so, you may be able to get the cased dismissed or the charges reduced. There are many different angles a good defense attorney will look at with a fine-toothed comb, which will ultimately help you when you do go to court.