Preliminary hearings are not common in DUI cases because people usually plead guilty when there is a significant amount of evidence against them, such as a Breathalyzer test. Furthermore, in Illinois and some other states, preliminary hearings are only held in felony cases.
However, some DUIs may be felonies, and this could lead to a preliminary hearing. At the preliminary hearing, the judge decides whether or not there is sufficient evidence for a trial. The prosecution is allowed to call witnesses, and the defense can cross-examine them. The prosecution may also bring in physical evidence.
The case will be dismissed instead of going to trial if the defense is able to convince the judge that the evidence is too weak. This legal standard for moving ahead with a case is known as “probable cause.”
Whether a person is facing felony or misdemeanor drunk driving charges, consulting an attorney might be a good idea. A DUI can have legal ramifications that include license suspension, fines and even jail time if the charges are serious enough. Some people might want to try to get the charges dismissed altogether because it can affect their career in some fields. Others may be primarily concerned about avoiding or limiting jail time. A plea bargain may be one way to reduce charges and penalties. However, in some cases, an attorney might also want to take a look at the technical aspects of the case. For example, a Breathalyzer test might have been done inaccurately, or a person’s rights might not have been observed when the person was taken into custody. Evidence of these situations might lead to the case being dismissed.