Colonial Heights DUI Motion Hearings

As defined by law, a motion hearing occurs when a party to a case wants the court to order something or make a ruling. Types of motion hearings include orders of evidence and bonds. A motion hearing normally exists when there is an objection to that ruling.

If you were charged with a DUI, your case will probably involve Colonial Heights DUI motion hearings. Your skilled criminal defense attorney is capable understand the role of these hearings in your case and how to use them most effectively.

How Motion Hearings Apply to DUI Cases

A motion hearing could apply in the case of a person facing DUI charges. When an individual is facing a DUI charge, they could have different types of motions, depending on what the individual or their lawyer wants to do.

For example, an attorney could have a motion requesting that a judge secure someone’s release from jail pending trial. One could also ask for a motion to return the individual’s driver’s license due to an administrative suspension. Lastly, one could also have a motion to suppress certain pieces of evidence, whether it is an illegal stop, an illegal seizure, or a warrantless arrest. All of those come into play whenever someone is dealing with Colonial Heights DUI motion hearing.

What Happens After a Motion Hearing is Filed?

In Colonial Heights DUI cases, what happens once a motion hearing is filed depends on what the motion is, which court the motion is filed in, and where someone is in the court process. In the general district court, the process is a lot more informal. When someone files a motion, the court reviews the motion, and the motion gets sent to the opposing party, which in this case is the Commonwealth. If they object to the motion, the court would select a date that is mutually agreeable to both parties for the motion to be heard. Normally, the court would both hear the motion and make a ruling on that date.

The circuit court motion is more formal. An attorney has to file a pretrial motion within days of a trial hearing. In circuit court, the Commonwealth objects to most motions. Similar processes occur in which an attorney contacts the judge’s office, the matter would be set on the judge’s calendar for the motion to be heard, and the motion would be heard at that point.

Motions to Suppress Evidence

In any motion to suppress evidence, the moving party is arguing to the judge that a state actor has in some way violated the Constitution, and in doing so, evidence was collected illegally. These motions to suppress evidence could be from several different angles:

There are many different ways for evidence to be suppressed, and there is no limit to the number of motions that could be filed, depending on the case.

Motions to Compel Discovery

A motion to compel discovery is to get information. In a criminal case, the General Assembly has determined that the Commonwealth has a burden to turn over certain information to the defendant and defense counsel. The rules regarding these motions change depending on whether someone is in general district or circuit court. In the general district court, the Virginia Rules of Evidence state the Commonwealth must turn over the defendant’s record or criminal history and any statement that the defendant may have made to the officers.

In the circuit court, it is 3-11, which a more robust rule. Beginning in July of 2019, that rule includes even more things that the Commonwealth will have to turn over  Normally, at circuit court there are the statements, the record, physical evidence, pictures, and videos In every case pursuant to Brady v. Maryland, the Commonwealth has the burden of turning over any evidence that is exculpatory.

How Motions to Compel Discovery Relate to DUI Cases

A motion to compel discovery is used in every DUI case to collect information and conduct a thorough investigation. Defense attorneys use motions for discovery to get a clear picture of what the Commonwealth’s case is going to be.

It also creates a barrier to prosecution if the Commonwealth does not turn over that evidence, because depending on the reason why it could help as a bargaining chip. Failure to turn the information over could be beneficial to the individual accused of DUI.

Reaching Out to a Qualified Criminal Attorney for Help

Colonial Heights DUI motion hearings could play an important role in your case. After your initial consultation, an attorney could determine which types of motions are relevant based on your circumstances. A criminal defense lawyer could then use motions and other strategies to fight for a favorable resolution. Call today to schedule a case review.