What is a Bill of Particulars?
In a DWI case, the bill of particulars is a document prepared by the prosecution that states more clearly the charges against the DWI defendant so that the defendant’s DWI defense attorney can frame a defense and prepare for trial. The bill of particulars is a more specific allegation of the facts regarding the DWI charge. It is meant to give the DWI defendant and the courts information about the exact nature, character, scope and extent of the charges relied on by the prosecution in a DWI case.
In addition, the DWI bill of particulars tells the DWI defendant what charges the prosecution intends to prove so that the proof at trial is limited to those issues and so that any surprise is avoided. A DWI defendant is generally allowed to obtain a bill of particulars when they seek clarification about their charges from the prosecution. The ultimate test that a court uses in deciding whether to grant a DWI defendant a bill of particulars is whether the information sought is necessary to their defense. A bill of particulars is important to the DWI defense attorney because it may be used as an investigative tool for the defense.
New York Laws about Obtaining a Bill of Particulars:
The law that relates to a DWI defendant obtaining a bill of particulars in New York is New York Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) § 200.95. This statute defines what a bill of particulars is in New York and sets out how a DWI defendant can make a request for the document and get a court to enforce it. Under the statute, a bill of particulars in New York sets out items of factual information relating to the DWI charge and includes the substance of the defendant’s conduct encompassed by the charge which the prosecution intends to prove at trial.
It is important that DWI defendants realize that this statute forbids the defense from getting information about the evidence or proof that the prosecution will rely on in proving the DWI case against the defendant. In a DWI case, the bill of particulars may be subscribed to by the arresting officer and may state the officer’s observations about the defendant’s conduct behind the wheel. Under CPL § 200.95(3), a DWI defendant may request a bill of particulars within 30 days of their arraignment in court. The prosecution in the case has 15 days to respond to this request. If the prosecutor in a DWI case fails to respond to the request for a bill of particulars, the defendant may file a motion with the court to compel them to respond.
Do I need to get a bill of particulars?
Someone charged with a DWi might wonder whether they need to get a bill of particulars in their case. The general answer is yes. In a DWI case, the prosecution has to file information about the basis for the initial traffic stop and the DWI charge. A bill of particulars can give a DWI defense attorney information regarding the arresting officer’s observations that led to the defendant’s arrest. The bill of particulars may have the arresting officer’s observations about the DWI defendant’s driving (usually alleging that the defendant drove erratically, was speeding, was operating their vehicle recklessly, etc.) The observations of the defendant’s driving will be used to justify the initial traffic stop and, in some circumstances, to substantiate the claim that the DWI defendant was intoxicated to such a degree that they were incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle.
The attorneys at the law firm of Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are experienced in handling DWI cases. If you need a lawyer who can help you obtain the best possible outcome in your DWI case, call the law firm of Nave DWI Defense Attorneys.
The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 269 W. Jefferson St.; Syracuse, New York 13202; Telephone No.: (315) 473-0899. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.