Driving under influence (DUI) is a serious violation and can be a difficult charge to contest in the court of law. In most jurisdictions, the penalties for DUI are steep. This is why you’ll try as much as possible to fight the charges and get them dropped, particularly if you’re a first-time offender.
If you are arrested for DUI, prosecutors will be reluctant to dismiss the charges due to the threat drunk driving poses to the public. However, there are situations that can warrant dismissal of such cases. So, if you’re committed to get your DUI charges dismissed because you may deem it as unlawful or of without basis, then you’ll need to hire an experienced DUI attorney to represent you and negotiate with the prosecutor.
Meanwhile, below are four reasons to make the prosecutor drop your DUI charges. These are:
1. If Charges Are Based On Refusal To Take A Breath Test
Your DUI charges could be dropped if they’re based on your refusal to take a breath test. Always remember you have the right to refuse in the event a law enforcer asks you to take a breathalyzer test, especially if there’s no probable cause to justify the request. However, you need to bear in mind your driving license will be suspended for a year or more for failing to perform the test.
Hence, during the hearing, for a higher chance to have your charges dropped, your DWI lawyer must prove that the traffic stop was unlawful and without a probable cause for a chemical or breath test for the charges to be dismissed.
The other scenario your lawyer could use to justify dismissal of DUI charges is the results of the breathalyzer test were invalid or that you had a medical reason that’s legitimate enough to refuse to take the breath test. Alternatively, your lawyer could argue that there was no probable cause that you were intoxicated while driving to have the charges dropped.
While it’s true that a law enforcer may base their breathalyzer test requests on your overall demeanor or driving, however, their evidence of DIU may not be sufficient if they fail to acquire positive results from a chemical or breath test.
2. If a Traffic Stop Was Unlawful
DUI charges may be dropped if there’s proof a police officer abused his power or acted unlawfully in conducting the traffic stop. Law enforcement offices are required to have reasonable suspicions to pull you over and are not allowed to stop you without a probable cause.
In very simple terms, probable cause refers to a reasonable suspicion of violating a traffic law like speeding, straddling lanes, or failing to stop at a stop sign. A good example of being stopped without a probable cause is when you’re stopped for racial profiling.
The situations that warrant a legal traffic stop include violation of equipment, violation of traffic law like over speeding, erratic driving, or disrespect of traffic signs. Police officers may also stop you at DUI checkpoints and for operating a car that fits the description of one that’s been stolen or involved in a crime. If your lawyer can prove your traffic stop was without a probable cause, your DUI charges may be easily dropped.
3. If Your License Suspension Has Been Dismissed
Every DUI results in a separate court proceeding for the accompanying license suspension. Attending the court proceedings is important because you get a chance to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license. If you fail to do so, your driving privileges can be revoked immediately regardless of the outcome of the charges that have been levied against you.
Most importantly, when you defend your right to keep an active driver’s license can have a positive impact on the DUI charges you might be facing. As a result of winning the license suspension case, the DUI prosecutor may dismiss your charges.
As such, it’s important you have your attorney contest any DUI charges or administration actions that are raised against you to keep your driver’s license active at all times.
4. If The Breathalyzer Tests Is Inaccurate
One of the common reasons for dismissing DUI charges is inaccurate breathalyzer test results that result from the use of faulty devices. Experienced DUI lawyers know how to leverage such test results to increase the success of your defense.
Such lawyers understand the operation and protocols that apply to breathalyzer and intoxilyzer devices and are therefore able to challenge the validity of breath tests before a court of law.
For instance, lawyers can question the validity of tests where law enforcers failed to calibrate the testing device before using it. In this case, the results may be deemed inconclusive, which means they cannot be relied upon in the case.
In some instances, your medical condition can have an impact on the test results. In this case, a good DUI lawyer will argue their inadmissibility in a court—which could lead to DUI charges being dropped.
DUI lawyers can also check how law enforcement administered the blood test. If there’s proof the blood test wasn’t administered in the approved manner, the results can be considered invalid and DUI charges against you may drop.
Being charged for driving under the influence can be a frustrating thing. Considering the steep penalties that come with this offense, it’s important you put up a strong defense to avoid a guilty verdict.
The good thing is being charged with DUI doesn’t necessarily mean the charges will stand in a court proceeding. As discussed above, there are various situations that may lead to dismissal of DUI charges. However, the successful dismissal of such charges largely depends on the experience of the DUI lawyer that you hire.
If you find yourself being charged for DUI unlawfully, the best thing to do is to find a qualified DUI lawyer who can review the facts of the case and use them to defend you in court. If the facts support any of the grounds discussed above, it’s highly likely for your DUI charges to be dropped.