Interviewer: How long do people have after they have been arrested till, their first court, what happens on the first court date.
Brian Frees: The citation that you’ve received says that you must hear or contact the court, between 5 and 14 days. At that time they will schedule what would be called an arraignment, if you are representing yourself at an arraignment, that’s when you are advised of the charges that were filed against you, and given your opportunity to request a public defender or advise the court that you’re going to hire a private attorney or make the decision to represent yourself. If you hire an attorney, between those 14 days we will file paperwork with the court notifying the court that you have retained an attorney and enter a provisional not guilty plea on your behalf. That will stop the necessity of you going to an arraignment date, it will then be scheduled for a pretrial conference which could be a few weeks or months down the road.
A Brief Description of the Pre-Trial Stage and It’s Aftermath in a Utah DUI Case
Interviewer: What happens during the pretrial, what are the next stages, what happens at the pretrial conference and what happens after that?
Brian Frees: The pretrial conference is the opportunity for the defense attorney and the prosecutor to review the evidence on the case against you and assess any issues that have been identified as to why maybe the, state couldn’t be successful at proving without reasonable doubt, that you’ve committed the act of driving under the influence. Different discovery issues will be discussed and be decided. Upon that time the judge will help make sure that we timely advance the case through the system that the prosecutor and the state are being forth coming with the evidence that they are going to use to prove their case. After the pretrial conference, if the next step is that we set it for either a suppression hearing or if there is an issue identified that, that we need to do and really gauge and bring up the reason why they can’t be successful against you or it would get set for a trial date.
People Mostly Try to Plead Out to Lesser Charges in a DUI Case in Utah
Interviewer: Do most DUI’s go to trial, or do they plead out early on?
Brian Frees: I’ve represented clients where they particularly plead out very quickly. Represented clients often will have what we call a suppression hearing. Where can bring up an issue constitutional issue, as to why the case should not be brought against the defendant.
The Deck is Stacked Against the Defendant in a DUI Case But There are Winnable DUI Cases As Well
Interviewer: Are you usually able to find a few defensible points? I know it depends on the case, but is there an open and shut area of law or are there opportunity’s to try to get a good resolve for client?
Brian Frees: There are lots of opportunities to try to, be successful in defending the client in getting a dismissal or a not guilty verdict. It is an area of law where the perceptions of society and the deck is stacked against the defendant, but there are definitely winnable cases out there.
The Reason for Initiating a Traffic Stop Can be Challenged in a DUI Case in Utah
Interviewer: I know it depends on the case ,but what re some of the common areas where you are able to find defenses and what are they.
Brian Frees: The first issue is the reason for the stop. When an officer is going to pull over a driver, they must have reasonable, suspicion that there is some criminal activity taking place. They can’t be stopped on a suspicion in that position to try to find DUI drivers. They have to identify a basis and that has to be reasonable as to why they initiated the stop, because if it’s based on the drivers pattern alone, then it has to meet certain criteria that has been established in this. In the case law and the laws in the city of Utah, and also our federal constitution government system too.