Getting charged for DUI can damage your reputation as a law-abiding citizen. Consequently, you may want to untangle yourself from any DUI charge you may face. However, having your charge dropped depends on the magnitude of your offense.
The good news is, there are specific steps to consider to increase your chances of getting a DUI dropped. This article is a comprehensive rundown of the essential information to know about getting your DUI cases dropped. Read to the end!
Can a DUI Charge Be Dropped?
DUI charges can be dropped. However, it depends on factors like having no prior DUI charge in the past and the magnitude of damage caused by your driving.
For instance, it’ll be challenging to get your DUI charges dropped if someone was seriously injured or your driving causes the demise of anyone. Having no past DUI charges and no serious injury or death makes your case less complicated.
Another factor that may increase your chances of getting your DUI dropped is the kind of attorney you hire and the DUI lawyer’s experience. An experienced attorney will be able to pinpoint any significant flaw in your case, and the highlighted flaw may make the court unable to prosecute you.
A typical deal is reached with the court to drop a DUI charge for a guilty plea for careless driving. A careless driving conviction is a lesser offense than DUI, and careless driving isn’t a criminal offense and doesn’t come with penalties. However, you may be asked to honor a provincial regulatory charge for reckless driving, similar to a speed ticket.
How to Get a DUI Charge Dropped
Now that you can get DUI charges reduced or dropped, you may also want to know the steps to ensure your DUI charge is dropped for good. Below are some steps to take:
Get an Experienced Attorney
Navigating the process of a DUI case may be too complicated for you. Considering that you want the charge to be dropped, hiring the services of an experienced attorney will go a long way in increasing your chances of dropping your DUI charges.
An experienced attorney in DUI cases will use his wealth of experience to help you pilot the process of a DUI charge and may get you the results you want. More so, an attorney by your side is also key to helping navigate the other processes listed below.
Ascertain the Validity of Your Traffic Stop
For a police officer to stop you while in traffic, there should be a valid and reasonable suspicion of a DUI offense. Such suspicion could be based on traffic violations like overspeeding, reckless driving, etcetera. You could also be stopped when a police officer notices any mechanical violation like the absence of a side mirror, or broken taillight.
However, if you can prove that these suspicions are nonexistent when an officer stops your vehicle, the DUI charges may be dropped. Any evidence gathered from such a stop will be considered unlawful and invalid.
You Weren’t Driving
When the prosecutor can’t prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were driving, you may increase your chances of getting your charges dropped. This scenario can be held up as an argument in a trial if some or all these points are true:
- You’re not the only individual in the car, and it’ll be challenging to know who was driving
- It was a solo crash, and no one saw who was driving
- If the police find you in a parked vehicle, you can’t be charged for DUI even if you’re intoxicated.
The onus lies on the prosecutor to prove the arguments above in their favor to go on with the case.
The Credibility of the Field Sobriety Test
You can challenge the credibility of the field sobriety test if you believe it lacks enough credibility. Sobriety test is typically done in three ways; horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), the walking and turning test (WAT), and the one-leg stand (OLS). While this test can be accurate, it’s not foolproof and may be subject to errors that affect the final result.
Some factors can affect the fairness of the test, such as:
- The test is carried out on an uneven surface or poorly lit environment
- If the driver was participating in the test is wearing heels or sandals
- If the police officer fails to explain the test instructions and procedure adequately
When you feel that one or all the factors above is true, you may have your DUI charge dropped or reduced.
You can challenge the breathalyzer results if you notice any discrepancy. The result may turn out to be questionable, and your DUI charges dismissed.
If the breathalyzer testing device isn’t in proper working order, it could affect the test results carried out with it.
Whenever the breathalyzer isn’t calibrated and maintained, it may not reach its intended accuracy level. Once proven that the breathalyzer wasn’t accurate, it could spell a dismissal of any DUI charge brought up based on the breathalyzer results.
First-time DUI Offender
You may be asking yourself, can a first offense DUI be dismissed. The simple answer is yes. First-time DUI offenders have a good chance of getting their cases dismissed. However, you may have to pay a fine, go to a DUI driving school and obtain your completion certificate to show that you participated.
In some cases, first-time DUI offenders may get up to six months driver’s license suspension. However, the driver can immediately start driving if an ignition interlock device (IID) is installed in their car.
The IID is a breath testing device that’s installed on a car’s steering column. A driver using IID will be mandated to blow their breath into the device for the car to start. If the device records alcohol that’s above the recommended BAC in your breath, the car won’t start. Also, you’ll need to be taking the tests at intervals as you drive the car.
Your chances of getting a DUI dropped largely depend on the kind of accident you were involved in and whether there are fatalities or injury victims. A good attorney will also play an essential role in ensuring that you don’t get prosecuted for DUI, which may dent your reputation. Ensure you get the services of an experienced DUI attorney who’ll help your case. If you have been asking “do DUI charges ever get dropped?”, by now you already know the answer.