Can A DUI Case Be Dismissed?
Whether you have been charged with a felony DUI or misdemeanor, the consequences can be very serious. Driving under the influence of alcohol and other illegal substances is treated very seriously because of the risks involved. The truth is that you are likely to cause an accident and probably even get someone injured or killed getting you into even more trouble with the law. DUI offenses attract hefty fines, considerable prison time and you are highly likely to have your driver’s license suspended.
If you have been in a DUI situation before, you may understand how important it is to have a DUI lawyer to represent you.
In case it is your first time or your relative has been charged, then it is advisable that you get an attorney as fast as you can to tackle the case that can otherwise be tedious to handle. But why is an attorney important in a DUI case?
A DUI attorney understands the legal regulations and laws. For this reason, they are able to guide you through the process and make it easier for you to understand the entire process. When working alongside a reputable and reliable lawyer, you will at least know what to expect with your case. It would be harder for you to understand your case without the assistance of a legal professional and it would be even harder to defend yourself without facing the full wrath of the law when it comes to DUI charges.
The attorney will help reduce your punishment. Considering how serious DUI offenses are considered, you definitely need an expert who can work on a strategy to ease out the kind of punishment you get if you are found guilty. The attorney can work around not having your driver’s license suspended, help in reducing the fines that you are required to pay and even save you from long jail terms in cases where you got someone injured or killed while driving under the influence. Your DUI attorney is generally fully dedicated to fetching you a fair trial if at all they are not able to completely dismiss the case.
A DUI attorney has a decent legal strategy that can dismiss your case. You may not know everything there is to your charges, but your attorney does. In fact, a DUI case can be dismissed if the attorney is able to show grounds for that. The commonly used strategies of DUI lawyers that can actually have the case dismissed include unlawful stopping by the officer; there has to be a lawful reason for an officer to stop you, they are not allowed to make random stops. The other approach is in the testing technique used to analyze your blood alcohol levels. Faulty testing equipment or wrong testing procedure can be used to disqualify the case.
For these reasons, it is always advisable that you consult a DUI attorney to offer the much-needed assistance when you have been charged for driving under the influence.
One of the most frustrating and difficult aspects of practicing in the area of DUI Defense is dealing with Prosecutors. Think about it. A Prosecutor is the one person who can have the most impact on your clients future if they are charged with a DUI. How is that possible you ask? Well, the Prosecutor is the one person that stands between your client possibly pleading guilty to a DUI as charged, or getting it reduced to a lesser offense.
The successful DUI Attorney has to learn how to effectively negotiate. Essentially this means convincing the Prosecution to either dismiss or reduce the DUI charge. This one little skill is probably the most important thing a DUI Attorney needs to do. So what is the best way to negotiate with a Prosecutor?
First, always try to negotiate in person. In my experience, it is often more difficult to tell a person no to their face as opposed to over the phone or through email. Additionally, it shows the Defense Attorney is willing to take the time out of their schedule, travel to the Prosecutors office, and meet in person. I think it shows a certain level of professionalism that most Prosecutors appreciate.
Secondly, don’t start off with the good guy reduction. Every Prosecutor has heard how a defendant is a good guy. How they are sorry and they are never going to do it again. Blah, blah, blah. That will get you nowhere and is often considered a waste of time.
Lastly and probably the most important is to bring a legal issue to the Prosecutors attention. Show them why a piece of evidence may get suppressed or excluded. Point out case law why the charge may be dismissed due to a constitutional issue. Believe it or not, most Prosecutors have no problem reducing a case as long as there is a reason to do so. Providing a real legal issue, and not just saying your client is sorry is going to go a long way in getting the DUI charge reduced to a lesser offense.
Obviously, every DUI case is different. And every Prosecutor is different. But if the Defense Attorney can follow these three tips then they will automatically, in my opinion, have a better chance to convince a Prosecutor to reduce driving under the influence offense to a lesser charge or possibly even get it dismissed.
By now everyone should know that a deferred prosecution is a 5-year contract that you enter into with the Court system when charged with a DUI. If you comply with the extensive and strict conditions of the contract than at the end of 5 years the DUI charge gets dismissed, and all the jail, fines, and license suspension are not imposed.
A deferred prosecution can only be used once per lifetime. So needless to say this is a very important decision if this is a route an individual wants to go. In my opinion, there are several times when entering into a deferred prosecution is a good idea, and there are times when it is a bad idea. So let’s talk a look at when its a good idea.
Facing significant jail and fines: If this is a first offense DUI then the penalties are pretty minimal compared to someone who is facing a third or fourth DUI charge. If you’re facing the later and the jail times and fines are significant then considering the option of the deferred prosecution might be worth looking into. Remember if you successfully comply with all the requirements not only is the DUI charge dismissed but all the jail and fines are not imposed.
Recognize you need help: Another great aspect to the deferred prosecution is if a person recognizes they have substance dependence issues, and they need the structure to change their lives. If you’re reading for this type of complete lifestyle change, and you’re reading to completely abstain from alcohol and drugs then this option might be worth considering.
Now that we have discussed when this is a good idea, let’s look at the times when this is not a good idea.
Lack of funds to hire a private attorney: Many attorneys charge fees based on the amount of work that is needed on a case. Obviously contesting a DUI charge, and going to trial is going to cost more than appearing in court two or three times, and entering into a deferred prosecution. If you’re considering this option because you don’t have the funds to hire a private attorney to fight the DUI case then this is a bad idea. A deferred prosecution really is a complete lifestyle change. If you’re not making this decision due to finances then the chances of successfully completing it are very slim.
Here are a few pieces of advice when deciding whether to do this option. Take your time in making this decision. If you feel that you’re ready to completely abstain and change your life then you probably make a good candidate. But if you’re unsure of that then consider other options.
In representing someone accused of a DUI the important job is to get the client the best possible deal. Whether that consists of a reduction in charges, an outright dismissal, or less jail depends on the case and the client. But the one variable that never changes in obtaining an ideal outcome for a client is negotiating with the Prosecution.
There are many methods to employ when negotiating on behalf of the client. Depending on the case that may mean pointing out evidentiary issues, showing the client has never been in trouble before and not likely to re-offend, trading community service hours or even jail for an alternative charge just to name a few. However, when the Prosecution says no to all those methods, the DUI Attorney still has another method to employ. The so-called Hail Mary pass, as I term it.
Many times in a DUI case the Prosecution is not willing to negotiate, the client does not want to plead guilty to the current offer, so the only option left is to set the DUI case for trial. This can benefit the client in a few ways.
First, it shows the Prosecution that the Defense is serious about going to trial and they are not just going to roll over and plead guilty. Depending on the jurisdiction a Prosecution can have many cases set for trial on a particular trial date. Obviously, they cannot prepare every case and go to trial so they start to peel away some of the less serious ones. If the DUI attorney has done a good job negotiating and at least pointed out some reasonable evidentiary issues, or creative plea bargaining than the Prosecution may remember that and offer it.
The second benefit is that this will give you more time to investigate, and or continue negotiating. Sometimes the negotiating Prosecutor at the pretrial stage is different from the trial Prosecutor. Having a different set of eyes, or working with the Prosecutor that would actually be trying the case may work to the client’s benefit. Additionally, by dragging the case out a little bit, things may change. A witness may become unavailable, some evidentiary may arise. You never know.
Obviously, every jurisdiction is different. Some Prosecutors have the rule that once a case gets set for trial all negotiation is off. So don’t go setting every case for trial unless you’re familiar with the Prosecutors policy regarding this.
If you want to fight a DUI case, you should first understand that driving under the influence is a very serious offense. The dangers involve not only killing yourself but even affecting or killing a lot of innocent people. Every state in the USA has been stringent in preventing drunk driving, but too much of legislation can be harmful as it could penalize innocent drivers for things that they did not do. If you find yourself in the situation, the first thing to do is keep track of the incident. Police officers usually note the incident at the back of the citation copy.
Before looking for a lawyer for DUI cases, you must know that you have access to this information as a part of the ‘discovery’. You can request the citation from the officer through a written request or through a subpoena. If the officer does not respond to the request, attend court on the date and carry a copy of the letter that you had sent to the officer including the stub which shows that the letter had been signed and received. If you request the judge and tell them that the officer never responded, the case should be dismissed.
It happens only when the officer does not answer to your request. Hence, if you receive a response that tells you that there is no pertinent document or note related to the matter, the method does not work. If there is any discrepancy, you should always fight that. If you are able to show that one or several parts of the officer’s process had been incorrectly completed, you have a fair chance of getting the charges dismissed. After this, it is your duty to find a witness and receive their feedback. This can be done by getting back to the scene of the incident and find a home or business in the area.
Ask the employees or residents whether they saw any part of the incident and ask them whether they would testify. Post fliers with your contact details if there are no witnesses. To fight a DUI case, you should collect as much information as you can. The previous events of the day, weather conditions, other drivers driving on the road, can significantly affect the outcome. Finally, you must see a lawyer for DUI cases. A good attorney can make sure that you get the verdict in your favor.
DUI Lawyer Free Consultation
When you need to defense yourself against a DUI Charge in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506