Hampton Roads DUI Discovery Process

As defined by law, the discovery in relation to DUIs is a process where the Commonwealth is required to turn over certain evidence to the defense related to the case. The discovery process begins once an individual has been charged. As soon as the person is charged, the officer will submit any relevant evidence to the Commonwealth. After this, the defendant’s attorney can file a motion for discovery the next day.

If you have been charged with a DUI, reach out to a seasoned DUI attorney who is knowledgeable about the Hampton Roads DUI discovery process. A skilled lawyer who familiar with the discovery process could be beneficial to your case.

Discovery Evidence in DUI Cases

Discoverable materials may include the defendant’s criminal record and any statements made by them to the police officer. Whenever there is a DUI, the Commonwealth will usually turn over any dash cam or body cam footage during the Hampton Roads DUI discovery process. Most officers have a DUI checklist, which is a multi-page form the officer fills out about what happened during the arrest. This includes what time the arrest occurred and anything they observed about the individual, such as their breath, slurred speech, and ability to do the field sobriety tests.

A defendant’s attorney could seek discovery from anyone. If there is certain evidence that the lawyer wants, they go through the Commonwealth and make requests. If there are any questions about the admissibility of whether or not the material should be turned over, the lawyer is going to be the one to make the argument.

Handling the Discovery Process

Previously, law enforcement used to handle the Hampton Roads DUI discovery process because, until recently, not every district attorney’s office was involved in first-offense DUIs. Now, all DUI cases are handled by a prosecutor assigned to it. Generally, the role the government plays in conducting discovery is being responsible for gathering all of the materials they are required to turn over. If something exists that the Commonwealth should know about, the Commonwealth is expected to get it and turn it over.

Request for Discovery

Depending on the jurisdiction, requests for discovery are submitted through the court or requested directly from the government. For example, in federal court, assuming the lawyer has a solid relationship with the prosecutor, all materials would be submitted without needing to file a discovery motion. Other jurisdictions have an open-file discovery policy where the attorney does not have to submit a motion. All the lawyer has to do is contact the prosecutor and the prosecutor would make sure everything is available for them. In jurisdictions where a discovery motion has to be submitted to the court and to the Commonwealth’s office, once they receive that motion, they would submit discovery to the attorney.

Defining Interrogatory

As defined by law, an interrogatory is a question posed that the other side must either answer or argue that it does not apply. With DUIs, they are not commonly used. Interrogatories are mostly used in civil matters when trying to get information about the case. There are sometimes it is appropriate to use an interrogatory in a DUI case, but for the most part, the Commonwealth is not going to answer with an interrogatory.

Subpoenas in DUI Cases

A subpoena is an order by the court to appear in front of a judge on a certain date with regards to the legal case. A circumstance in which a subpoena would be used in a DUI case would be if someone is a witness. Either side could request subpoenas if there is evidence or testimony they believe would be beneficial to have in court. The role of a subpoena in a DUI case is to make sure that a person comes to court. If a witness is subpoenaed and they do not appear, it is grounds for a continuance request if they are a material witness.

Contacting an Experienced Hampton Roads DUI Attorney for More Information

It is important for individuals to know that the Hampton Roads DUI discovery process takes significant time. This is because the officer has to turn over the material and the Commonwealth has to obtain everything relevant to the case. However, this does not mean that the Commonwealth has to turn over everything related to the case. The discovery process can make or break a case, therefore, it is imperative for a defendant to have an experienced attorney by their side.

If you would like to know more about the Hampton Roads DUI discovery process, consult with an accomplished DUI attorney in Hampton Roads.