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Does Scratching Affect a Motor Vehicle Department-Issued License Suspension after a DUI Arrest?
Interviewer: If it’s something that DUI related, how does that affect the MVD hearing?
AZ Criminal Law Team Lawyer: If someone requests an MVD hearing, it will come about later on. Usually what happens is the police will send lab results to the MVD and then the MVD will send a letter to the client saying a suspension is going to happen on such-and-such date.
Any MVD Action May Be Delayed Pending Lab Results; the Delay in Receiving Evidence Would Also Result in the Case Being Scratched in Criminal Court
In an aggravated DUI case, if the MVD doesn’t get notice for a while, so then no hearing is going to be set on the suspension. Say I have a case that’s been scratched and MVD doesn’t get notification of the lab results. About eight months later, they get the notification of the lab results, and they’ll usually send a letter to that person saying that, a hearing has been set or that their license is going to be suspended on such-and-such date.
Interviewer: Are there any particular cases that you’re working on right now that have been scratched?
AZ Criminal Law Team Lawyer: There are. I have several cases that have been scratched. I actually just had one that was scratched about eight months ago. It was an aggravated DUI and it just came up again this week.
Interviewer: Since it came up this week, when is the individual scheduled to appear in court?
AZ Criminal Law Team Lawyer: They have their first court date, which is an arraignment on 1:30 next week on a Monday. At that arraignment the judge will enter a Not Guilty on the person’s behalf and then the attorney will waive formal reading of the charges. Then the next court date will get set.
Once the complaint is filed, an arraignment date will usually get set. If it’s a felony case at 1:30 in the Felony Court and then it’s where the judge will enter a Not Guilty on the person’s behalf and they’ll be notified of the formal charges pending against them.
Scratching a Case Does Afford the Prosecution More Time to Gather Evidence against an Individual with a Pending Felony Case
Interviewer: It seems to me that with scratched cases, this provides the opportunity for a prosecutor to find more evidence against the defendant?
AZ Criminal Law Team Lawyer: Yes. In cases like that, it gives them more time to, if they need additional time to obtain more evidence against you, they can do that. In the meantime, if it’s a more serious count case, someone might be contacted by a police or investigator to discuss the case or conduct a search of someone’s home.
It Is Important to Have an Attorney’s Counsel While a Felony Case Is Pending
That’s why it’s always good to have an attorney helping someone along the way. The investigation can still be ongoing even though the case is scratched.
Interviewer: Once the case is re-established, is the length of a trial going to be the same that it would have been prior to the case being scratched?
When Is Waiving Time Beneficial?
AZ Criminal Law Team Lawyer: Yes, because statutorily the state has a certain amount of time in which to bring someone to trial. Along the way, the defendant may ask for continuances along the way, and they may be asked to do what’s called waiving time.
Waiving time means it gives the state additional time in which to bring you to trial because you’re asking to continue or delay your case.
A lot of times the defendant will want to continue their case and agree to waive time, which means that the state has additional time to bring you to trial.
Interviewer: Would that be helpful in a sense that since the prosecution has established maybe new evidence, it will give you more time to defend that evidence?
AZ Criminal Law Team Lawyer: Right; and it can give a defendant more time either to remain out of custody, or if they have things they need to do on their end, it gives them additional time. It can benefit both the attorney and the defendant.
If a Case Scratched and You Are Incarcerated, You Will Most Likely Be Released
Interviewer: What about detention and jail time? During the process, during the waiting time between, once the case has been scratched and before they come in again, is there any sort of possible jail time someone may have to worry about?
Any Time Served in Jail May Be Credited toward a Sentence Offered in Plea Bargain Negotiations
AZ Criminal Law Team Lawyer: Well, if a person finds out their case is scratched, they’ll generally be released at that point. If someone is still in custody and they find out 24 hours after you go to your initial appearance that a formal complaint wasn’t filed, say, a couple days later, they’ll be released from being in custody. They won’t be kept in custody.
If someone ends up spending more than 24 hours in custody and they’re not released until five to seven days later, we would ask for credit for that time served once a plea offer is entered later on. Or, if some sort of plea is taken where it would involve time in custody, we would ask for credit for time served, for the time that was spent in custody.
With DOC time you have to give that credit, and with jail time it can be discretionary.