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Howard County DUI Motion Hearings

A motion hearing is a suppression hearing or where a person suppresses evidence. If there has been a constitutional violation, oftentimes in a separate hearing, there will be an argument as to why the evidence should not be allowed at trial, perhaps because it was obtained against one’s constitutional rights. Oftentimes if evidence is excluded, no trial happens as there is no evidence to present at trial. It is a way of having a mini-trial almost to ascertain whether a trial is even feasible or appropriate. A person may not understand how to file a motion and they should consult a dedicated DUI attorney for their Howard County DUI motion hearings.

Motion Hearings for DUIs

A motion hearing will be had because an individual wants to argue that the police conducted the legal stop of a vehicle, it was an illegal arrest or anything else that has illegalities that can be challenged. If successfully challenged, evidence comes in and the state will generally dismiss the case outright.

Process Once the Motion is Filed

Generally, in the district court, a separate motions hearing is not filed but happens almost simultaneous at trial. In the circuit court, if a person goes to a jury trial, they would have Howard County DUI motion hearings in advance, because that would determine what evidence can come in against the individual prior to a jury starts, which typically is filed in the very beginning. A person files the request right away, as oftentimes they do not have all the discovery and do not know the viability of any suppression argument. A person files the request and if it turns out no argument can be had, they can withdraw the hearing. If they do have an argument, then they go forward and try to argue the evidence.

The other party will be at stake. Typically at the motions hearing, the state has the burden of proving and establishing that any evidence is obtained lawfully. The defense has the right to cross-examine the police officers, challenge, or put the argument as to why the evidence should be excluded.

Motion to Suppress Evidence

Motion to suppress evidence can be in writing but is usually done orally since sometimes a judge wants a written brief as to why the evidence should be excluded in violation of someone’s constitutional rights. A motion is filed in advance, but it almost certainly is going to be set in for Howard County DUI motion hearings so the judge can hear arguments orally from the parties for both the state and defense.

Cross-Examining

What happens is the state will usually call a police officer or some other witness that will testify to the sequence of events that led to the discovery of evidence. The defense is entitled to cross-examine the officers and witnesses. At the end of the hearing after the testimony regarding how evidence is obtained and presented, the judge can make a determination as to whether or not the police violated somebody’s constitutional rights and whether or not the evidence should be admitted.

If there was illegality on behalf of the police, the motion to suppress would be used to exclude all evidence obtained against an individual. It could be a breath test, a blood test, certain observations, or a legal stop of the vehicle. If those things are excluded, the police have no evidence against the defendant and the case gets dismissed.