If you have been accused of a DUI or DWI, DUI dismissals may be of primary interest to you. DUI dismissals, or a dismissal of the DUI charges brought against you, can happen either before the trial, or if you are found innocent by a judge or jury after a DUI trial. Because of the potentially serious penalties associated with a DUI- including loss of your license, fines, community service and jail time- it is essential that you explore all of your options for having your DUI case dismissed and avoiding conviction.
Reasons for DUI Dismissals
A DUI case can be dismissed if the prosecutor does not have sufficient evidence to prosecute or to make a case. Typically, DUI dismissals occur when:
- Procedural problems occurred during the arrest
If you were arrested for a DUI, you have all the same legal rights as any other person arrested for any under crime. Under the 4th Amendment, you are protected from unreasonable search and seizure. Under the ruling in a supreme court case called Miranda v. Arizona, the police must read you your rights when arrested. The police also must have probable cause to pull you over or to make you submit to a breathalyzer.
If the police did something wrong and violated your rights, then any evidence they collected- from your statement to the breathalyzer itself- can be thrown out and not considered evidence in court. If this occurs, then the case may be dismissed for lack of evidence.
- There is insufficient evidence
If the police don't show up to court, if your lab test is lost, or if there is anything else wrong with the evidence that the prosecutor has, then your case may be dismissed.
- There is some problem with the evidence
The evidence in a DUI case has to be sufficient to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you are guilty of DUI. There are many things that can go wrong with the evidence, however. Field sobriety tests- such as those where you have to walk in a straight line- are notoriously unreliable. Even breathalyzers and blood tests can be problematic. For example, under the rising BAC defense, your blood alcohol goes up after you finish drinking- so if the breathalyzer wasn't taken immediately, then your BAC at the time the breathalyzer was taken may actually have been higher than your BAC at the time when you were driving. Defenses such as these can cast doubt on the evidence and can potentially result in a dismissal of charges if the defense is successful.
If you have been accused of a DUI or DWI, you should consult with an experienced DUI attorney. He can provide you with information on defenses you can use to get a DUI dismissal and can help you to assemble evidence and otherwise defend yourself against charges you believe to be inaccurate or unfair.