A DUI trial may not be something you'd want to drag out, but there are many ways a drunken driving case can stall in court.
Don't be surprised to wait months before your trial date -- and then wait even longer when that date is pushed back.
Check out these five common reasons why a DUI trial may be delayed:
- More time to prepare your case. One of the most common reasons that trials are delayed is to give the defense (or prosecution) time to gather evidence and prepare their cases. In more serious cases, cases can be delayed for months in order to allow prosecutors to turn over evidence to defense attorneys. This might seem irritating to defendants who want to quickly resolve their cases, but it's smarter to delay trial until your attorney has the full evidence picture.
- Court scheduling conflicts. If your case is being heard in a court with a busy docket, you may have to delay your trial in order to accommodate the court's calendar. Yes, you do have the right to a speedy trial, but many DUI defendants will waive that right in order to allow the court and their attorneys more freedom in their schedules. Especially if a suspect is not in custody -- either on bail or out on his or her own recognizance -- DUI trials may be set months or even a year after the arrest.
- Attorney scheduling conflicts. The courts aren't the only ones with busy calendars. Your attorney likely has pending cases besides yours, and those dates may conflict with your pending trial date. Public defenders in particular tend to have especially busy calendars, and it isn't uncommon for a trial date to be pushed back to accommodate busy attorney schedules.
- A key witness is unavailable. When a crucial witness is unexpectedly unavailable -- due to a sudden illness or emergency, for example -- your attorney can ask for a continuance. If the witness is fairly indispensible, it's likely a court will delay a DUI trial. But only long enough to get the crucial witness into court.
- A new attorney enters the case. Say you decide to fire your attorney. If that happens, then your new attorney will need some time to properly get caught up on your case. Courts may delay DUI trial dates to give your new attorney time to give you a proper defense.
Feel like you need to delay your DUI trial date? Consult with an experienced DUI attorney today.