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Not necessary to bifurcate in a Felony DUI

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 2:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The Court of Appeals (Div. II) agreed the Superior Court trial judge did not abuse their discretion by denying the defendant’s motion to bifurcate in a Felony DUI trial.  The defense wanted to hide the prior DUI offenses from the jury prior to the jury's decision on whether the defendant committed their most recent DUI.   If the jury convicted on the DUI, the jury would then get the evidence on the priors to decide whether the new DUI was a "felony" DUI.  The Court of Appeals agreed that because the existence of the defendant’s prior offenses was an element of the charged crime, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion to bifurcate.

The Court of Appeals also affirmed that the prosecution need not call the blood-draw person to establish "foundation" for the blood draw.  The officer in the case noted the relevant facts and these were sufficient for the court to conclude---under a prima facie standard--that foundation was satisfiled.

Congratulations to DPA Jeremy Morris!  

  State v. Tysyachuk, COA No. 52448-1-II (Apr. 14, 2020).

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