Florida Court Discusses the Right to an Unbiased Trial

People accused of DUI violations and other crimes have the right to a fair trial. As a result, if a judge sitting over a criminal case exhibits undue prejudice against the defendant, it may be possible to argue that the judge should not be allowed to preside over the case. In a recent judgment delivered in a DUI case, a Florida court explained what a defendant seeking a writ of prohibition banning a judge from hearing a case must prove. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, it’s a good idea to speak with a Florida DUI defense lawyer to discuss your options.

The Case’s Background

According to reports, the defendant was charged with multiple alcohol-related offenses, including DUI (driving under the influence) with significant physical injury and property damage. He was released on bond, but was later arrested and charged with a number of crimes, including vessel homicide and boating while intoxicated.

According to reports, his bond was revoked by the trial court, and the State filed a motion for pretrial custody, citing a past DUI conviction in another state. After determining that the State met the threshold for proving that pre-trial custody was required, the court granted the application. After being acquitted, the defendant filed a petition for a writ of prohibition to prevent the assigned trial judge from continuing to preside over his criminal case. After his move for reconsideration was denied, he also filed a petition for review of the pretrial detention order.

Right to an Independent Judge

The defendant’s petition was denied by the court. The court explained that it was well-established under Florida law that the provisions regulating judge disqualification were never meant to allow a disgruntled litigant to have a judge removed from a case simply because the judge made an adverse finding, as such rulings are reviewable.

Instead, judicial disqualification regulations are intended to keep a judge from taking any further action in a pending case. The plaintiff’s petition for disqualification of the trial court judge was judged to be legally lacking in the situation at hand. Without going into detail, the court denied the defendant’s request of prohibition against the judge. The defendant’s plea to reverse the pretrial detention order was also refused by the court. Specifically, the appellate court found that the defendant was properly detained, given the substantial threat he posed to other members of society.

Speak to an Experienced St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney About Your Options

A conviction for a DUI crime can result in serious consequences, therefore it’s vital for anyone accused of a DUI offense to fight to protect their right to a fair trial. If you’ve been accused of a crime, you should consult with an attorney to see what steps you may take to preserve your rights.┬áThe experienced St. Petersburg DUI defense attorneys of Hanlon Law can advise you of your possible defenses and aid you in seeking a just outcome. You can reach us at 727-897-5413 or through the form online to set up a conference.

Posted in:
Updated:

Comments are closed.

Contact Information