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What to know about a preliminary hearing for a DUI

On Behalf of | May 13, 2020 | Blog, Criminal Defense, DUI |

Individuals in Pennsylvania who are charged with a DUI have the right to take their case to trial. However, before a trial begins, there is usually a preliminary hearing to determine whether one needs to occur at all. A judge will review the evidence that the prosecution has gathered to determine whether there is a reasonable chance a jury would convict the defendant. Typically, both the prosecution and defense will have a chance to argue their cases in front of the judge.

The prosecutor may also ask witnesses to testify as part of the preliminary hearing. If a witness is called, the defense is typically given a chance to cross-examine that person to try to cast doubt about what he or she has said. If an attorney is able to cast sufficient doubt on witness testimony or other evidence, the case may be dismissed immediately.

It is important to note that a preliminary hearing doesn’t occur in every drunk driving case. This is because it isn’t uncommon for someone charged with DUI to plead guilty during his or her arraignment. In some cases, a hearing won’t occur even if a person has entered a not guilty plea. Instead of a preliminary hearing, a case may be heard by a grand jury that will decide whether a person should stand trial.

A person who is charged with DWI may face a variety of penalties, including a fine or even jail time. It may also result in the loss of one’s driving privileges, which may make it harder for a person to find or retain a job. A lawyer may help a defendant get his or her case dismissed or a charge reduced by casting doubt on the evidence used against an individual