If you have been arrested for drunk driving you may be wondering if it’s possible to get the DUI charges dropped or dismissed. The first step to getting a DUI dismissal is to hire a DUI lawyer who can review the DUI arrest records.
What can the DUI lawyer do to get a DUI dismissal?
If you decide to hire a DUI lawyer to find out if your can get a DUI dismissal the lawyer will start by fully reviewing the case. They will determine if they can challenge any of the evidence or reach a plea agreement with the court. Listed below are the common challenges and methods used to get a DUI dismissal.
1. Plea Bargain
Making a plea bargain is the most common way to avoid a DUI conviction. What is a plea bargain? It’s a plea agreement between the defendant and the prosecutor where the state agrees to give the defendant a lesser charge, generally in exchange for not having to stand trial. Some states do not allow a plea bargain for DUI, but some states will allow the defendant to plead down to reckless driving.
2. Challenge the validity of the original traffic stop
The good news is the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects you against stops by law enforcement without cause. To stop your car the police must have reasonable suspicion and probable cause. Reasonable suspicion means they have enough evidence to suggest you were breaking the law AND the officer must be able to articulate that reason as the reason for the stop.
Next the police must have probable cause which is enough evidence to support the belief that a person has broken the law. It is not unusual, however, for many drivers to be arrested for DUI after the police have stopped them for another offense. For instance, you may be stopped if your tail light is broken but later arrested for drunk driving.
What do you do if you don’t want to be arrested for drunk driving? Obviously you don’t drink and drive, but if you don’t want to be stopped for any offense you need to make sure your car is in great working order: no cracks in the windshield, registration up to date, and you have two license plates if required by law.
3. Accuracy of the blood or breath test results
If you submitted to a breath test this can be compelling evidence against you. To challenge the evidence your attorney will review the officer’s procedure, the maintenance and repair records, database logs, and calibration records of the breath testing equipment or breathalyzer. Each of these challenges can be done at trial through cross-examination or by calling your own expert witnesses.
If you submitted to a blood test this can be a more difficult challenge because blood tests are the most accurate test given for DUI. But with a great DUI lawyer it may be possible to find vulnerabilities in the blood testing procedures and get a DUI dismissal.
4. If the Court fails to give you a speedy trial this can result in a DUI dismissal
It may not happen often but under state law you are entitled to a speedy trial. Some drivers have received a DUI dismissal because the state was unable to bring their case to court within the specified time limit.
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