A DUI arrest can be overwhelming, especially if it is your first offense. Furthermore, DUI court cases can be difficult to navigate alone. There are certain processes that an experienced legal advocate could help an individual navigate. If you want to know more about Palm Beach Gardens DUI court preparation, speak with a competent DUI attorney that could answer your questions.
One of the first steps in a court case could be an interrogatory. An interrogatory would be a written list of questions presented to a party that must be answered under oath and filed with the court. There are no interrogatories in criminal court. A person has the right to remain silent, at least in this jurisdiction of Florida, they are used in civil cases so as to avoid court time.
The person can answer certain questions in writing. Rather than having to sit in front of the court and put under oath at the hearing room, the person can just answer them in writing under oath. Interrogatories, as they are traditionally defined, are not used in DUI cases or criminal cases at all.
Instead of interrogatories during Palm Beach Gardens DUI court preparation, a person can petition the court to take the deposition of the witnesses. The purpose of taking a deposition is to ask some questions that one would normally ask in an interrogatory.
Depositions in Court Cases
Interrogatories are ways to pose questions to witnesses as to what they might say; they are not used in criminal cases. Instead, attorneys use depositions where the questions and answers are done live with the attorneys and a court reporter present to record all of the questions and answers given by the witness to later be used in court.
In criminal cases, one has the right to confront the witnesses against them, instead of giving the witnesses a list of written questions to answer, one can actually sit down with the witness in front of a court reporter under oath and ask them the questions that they want to ask instead of giving them to the person or witness in writing.
Anyone can be deposed in a criminal case. The state’s witnesses can be deposed subject to court approval. The defense witnesses can be deposed subject to court approval. The only person who cannot be deposed is the defendant. The defendant has the right to remain silent.
What is a Subpoena?
During Palm Beach Gardens DUI court preparation, an individual can compel individuals to appear in court with a subpoena. A subpoena is a court order to appear at a certain time and place for a certain purpose. Circumstances under which a subpoena can be used or issued in a DUI case will be several. The first one would be that one could subpoena a witness to appear at the driver’s license office to testify at a driver’s license review hearing to try and save a client’s driver’s license from being suspended.
Another instance in which a subpoena could be used in a DUI case is if the judge has given a DUI attorney defense lawyer permission to speak with the witnesses ahead of time outside of court. The attorney would issue the witnesses a subpoena to appear at a certain place, typically in the courthouse, in a certain room at a certain time in front of a court reporter, a prosecutor, and the lawyer issuing a subpoena, to answer questions about the law.
Motions Prior to Trial
If there is a motion made prior to trial to try and get certain evidence thrown out or the case dismissed, they could subpoena the witness, or have the court sign an order to that witness to appear at that hearing so that they can get that witness’ testimony prior to trial.
Similarly, if they are going to trial, a subpoena will be issued to every witness. Whether or not it is the state’s witness, the government will subpoena their witnesses. If a DUI lawyer has defense witnesses on behalf of their potential client, the skilled DUI attorney will issue subpoenas to those witnesses to make sure that they appear in court and so they are under court order to appear in court.
Role of Subpoenas in DUI Cases
The role of a subpoena is to make it a court order to appear in court at a time and date hopefully mutually agreed-upon to testify certain facts in the case. If a person fails to obey a subpoena, they are failing to obey a court order and can be held in contempt of court for which a judge could put them in jail for up to 5 months and 29 days. If an individual wants to know more about how to use subpoenas during Palm Beach Gardens DUI court preparation, they should speak with a knowledgeable DUI attorney that could answer their questions.