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Delaware reforms DUI court process

Delaware Public Media

A new law in Delaware is supposed to ease the strain misdemeanor Driving Under the Influence cases put on the justice system.


Delaware lawmakers and justice officials have reformed an anomaly in the state’s courts that allowed a person to get two trials if he was arrested for a non-felony DUI.


“Until this law was enacted, it was the only crime in the state where you got two trials if you were accused and convicted of the first one,” said Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn.


Jurisdiction over misdemeanor DUI’s used to be shared by two courts. But under this new law, only the Court of Common Pleas will be able to hear these trials.

But the Justice of the Peace Court will still be able to accept guilty pleas in DUI cases.

Denn said holding two trials over the same case was a drain on justice system resources.


Lawmakers passed the bill last month and Gov. John Carney signed it June 30. It took effect immediately.

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