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Types of Motions in DC DUI Cases

A person facing drunk driving charges may want to request a motion. There are several types of motions in DC DUI cases. A local DUI attorney should understand how to efficiently use motion to benefit the person’s defense strategy.

Motion to Suppress Evidence

A motion to suppress evidence is a written document the defense attorney files in court. The attorney states that the evidence obtained in the case was obtained in violation of the Constitution and the government should not be allowed to use that evidence.

The defense attorney files the motion. The government has a chance to respond to it in writing and then the judge convenes a hearing. The police officer who obtained the evidence testifies and the defense has a chance to question or cross-examine the witness. The judge makes a decision about whether the police officer obtained the evidence lawfully or constitutionally.

Motion to Suppress Evidence in a DUI Case

The defense attorney files a motion to suppress when trying to get the evidence against the client quashed. If the client made statements or there was a search of the client’s vehicle that yielded evidence, the defense attorney files a motion to suppress that. They also file a motion to suppress the results of any breath tests as a result of unlawful or unconstitutional police activity.

Motion for Summary Judgment

There are several types of motions in DC DUI cases. A motion for summary judgment is called a motion for judgment of acquittal. At the end of the government’s case, the defense usually makes a motion orally, although sometimes it is in writing. The government presents their case first and then the defense has an opportunity to present their case. At that point, the defense attorney can point to the government’s case and declare that there is still not enough evidence to find their client guilty and the client should be acquitted of all charges. This takes place before the defense attorney presents their case. That is how a motion for judgment of acquittal works.

Motion for Judgment of Acquittal in a DUI Case

At the end of the government case in a DUI case, the defense attorney always makes that motion. It is a little bit difficult to have that motion granted in a DUI case when any portion of the motion relies on the credibility of a witness. When it relies on credibility, the judge may wait until the end of the case to make that determination. When there is a matter of law based on the most generous interpretation of the government’s case, and there is a question as to whether the law was violated, the motion might be granted.

Motion to Compel Discovery

If the defense attorney makes a request of the government for certain information as part of the discovery process and the government does not respond to repeated requests or refuses to honor the request, the defense can file a motion to compel discovery. They inform the judge about what evidence is needed and why it is needed so the judge can force the government to turn the evidence over to the defense.

The defense attorney makes an informal request for discovery, an oral request, and follows it up with a written request. If the government refuses to provide the information, the defense attorney can then file a motion about what they are requesting and why the request should be honored. The government has a chance to respond and then there is a hearing on the matter and the judge makes a decision.

Motion to Compel Discovery in a DUI Case

A motion to compel discovery is used to get information about the breath, blood, or urine tests. The defense attorney tries to get information about how the test was administered. As an example, when breath test results are used against the client, the defense attorney obtains records about how the machine is maintained and repaired to make sure it is in good working order and is accurate. The attorney identifies how often the machine was repaired or adjusted to make sure it is accurate. In a urine test, the attorney identifies the specific procedures to analyze the specimen and the chemicals used in the test. That information is usually disclosed in discovery and the defense attorney might need to move to compel.

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