A person charged with a crime has the right to a fair and impartial trial. This means, among other things, that if a judge demonstrates bias or evidence suggests that the judge is otherwise unable to rule in an objective manner, the defendant can file a motion for recusal. In a recent Florida ruling, a court discussed the grounds for granting a motion for disqualification in a matter in which the defendants were charged with DUI offenses. If you are accused of driving while intoxicated, it is in your best interest to speak to a skilled Clearwater criminal defense attorney regarding your rights.
The Facts of the Case
It is reported that defendants were each charged with DUI crimes, and their cases proceeded before a county judge. Due to the fact that the judge had ex parte communications with the State Attorney’s office regarding another matter in which a defendant was charged with DUI, they each filed motions for disqualification. Their motions were denied, after which they filed writs of prohibition, which were denied as well. They then sought certiorari review of the order denying their petitions.
Grounds for Granting a Motion for Disqualification
The appellate court explained that its review was limited to determining whether the trial court granted the defendants procedural due process and applied the appropriate law. In other words, whether it adhered to the essential requirements of law. As such, a district court should only grant certiorari relief when the lower court failed to uphold a clearly established tenet of law, resulting in a miscarriage of justice. Continue Reading ›