One of the most nerve-wracking parts of fighting a DUI is the trial process – especially if you’ve never seen the inside of a courtroom. This article aims to demystify the process with a step-by-step explanation of the typical DUI trial in Pennsylvania.
Step 1. The Preliminary Hearing
At the Preliminary Hearing, the police officer who handled your arrest will present your case to a District Judge. The court will then decide if there is enough evidence to move forward and try you for DUI. The burden of proof (the amount of evidence the state needs to show) at the Preliminary Hearing is lower than that of a trial. However, there is still a possibility that the charges against you can be lowered or even dismissed at this point. That’s why it’s important to have an aggressive DUI lawyer at your side at your Preliminary Hearing.
If you’ve been accused of DUI and have been given a date for your Preliminary Hearing, don’t delay. Contact The McShane Firm today for your free initial consultation and your trial maybe be over before it even begins.
Step 2. Formal Arraignment
Thirty to sixty days after the Preliminary Hearing, you will appear before the court to hear charges against you and be advised of your rights. Primarily a formality, this hearing can be attended by your attorney in your place.
Step 3. Discovery Phase
After the Formal Arraignment, the Court will turn over copies of their evidence against you to your attorney. This evidence can be anything from chemical test results, photographs, statements from witnesses, and other forms of evidence. Your DUI lawyer will use this evidence to construct the best possible defense for you. The McShane Firm regularly employs the state’s top DUI experts, along with our own in-house private detective, to give you a peerless DUI defense. Contact us today to put our experienced team to work on your case.
Step 4. Omnibus Pretrial Motion
During the Discovery Phase, your lawyer will file an Omnibus Pretrial Motion. This motion is a request from you asking the Court to look at your case and make sure none of your rights and no state laws have been violated. Specifically, the Court will be asked to consider:
- Whether the traffic stop and your detainment was legal
- Whether there was sufficient Probable Cause to arrest you
- Whether the chemical test was administered legally
- Whether the results of the chemical test (or a report of your refusal to take one) are valid
- Anything else that is suitable
Again, this is another point where your attorney will work to uncover a reason to have your case dismissed or your charges reduced. The highly-trained DUI attorneys of The McShane Firm can spot when your rights have been violated during your arrest. Don’t let a golden opportunity pass you by. Contact us today.
Step 5. TrialIf your case proceeds to trial, the State will present its case against you to a judge or jury, and your attorney will present witnesses and evidence to counteract the State’s case, doing everything possible to help you obtain the best possible result. As you can see, while the DUI trial process is complex, it also offers several opportunities for you to achieve a favorable result. Your best chance of making that happen is to hire the right DUI attorney to argue on your behalf.
The experienced DUI lawyers of The McShane Firm are fierce litigators, with no fear of the courtroom. We pledge to fight aggressively for your case, your rights, and your freedom. The DUI specialists at The McShane Firm are ready to give you the representation deserve and guide you through the DUI trial process.