While a DUI is the most serious driving violation and an incredibly difficult charge to contest, there are instances that warrant a dismissal. As such, it’s advisable to consult an experienced DUI attorney if you’re facing charges you feel may have been brought about unlawfully.
Top 3 Reasons for DUI Dismissal
- Legality of the Traffic Stop
If you feel a police officer has acted unlawfully or abused their power, you have a right to defend yourself in court. Law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop. In other words, police officers are not authorized to pull you over for random stops, racial prejudice, or any other reasons unrelated to the law. On the other hand, the following situations may suggest intoxication or warrant a traffic stop:
- Traffic law violation including erratic driving
- Equipment violation
- DUI checkpoint
- Operation of a vehicle that fits the description of a stolen car or one that has been involved in a crime
- Basis of Breath Test
If you have been pulled over and asked to submit to a breathalyzer, it is your right to refuse if the officer does not have probable cause for the request. Keep in mind, you will undoubtedly face a license suspension for at least one year for failure to perform a breath test. At your hearing, you must plead your case to prove one of the following scenarios:
- The traffic stop was invalid
- There was no probable cause for the breath or chemical test request
- The results of the breath/chemical test were invalid
- You had a legitimate medical reason for refusing to comply with the officer’s request to the field sobriety test
- There was no probable cause that you were driving while intoxicated
While the officer can base his or her requests on your driving and overall demeanor, they may not have sufficient evidence of DUI without a positive result from a breath or chemical test.
- Successful Dismissal of License Suspension
Every DUI will result in a separate court proceeding for the accompanying driver’s license suspension. It’s imperative to attend the hearing for two reasons:
- If you fail to challenge the suspension, your driving privileges will be immediately revoked regardless of the outcome of the criminal charges brought against you.
- If you win your right to retain an active driver’s license, the DUI prosecutor may end up dismissing your criminal charges.
In short, it’s advisable to contest all DUI charges and related administrative actions with an attorney.
Contesting Sobriety Test Results
The most common reason for DUI dismissal is a faulty testing device. This is where an experienced DUI lawyer can increase your chances for a successful case. They will be most familiar with the operation and applicable protocol for Intoxilyzer and breathalyzer devices and can challenge the validity of the results before a judge. For example:
- If a breathalyzer was not calibrated prior to use, the results will most likely be inconclusive.
- If you have a medical condition that affects the test results, the test result may be inadmissible in court.
- Blood tests must be administered in an approved manner.
Though the odds are stacked against you from the moment of arrest, there are several valid reasons for a DUI dismissal. If you feel you’ve been unlawfully charged for DUI, take advantage of a free consultation with an experienced DUI attorney to review the facts of your case.
Contact Jon Artz today if you need to speak with an experienced DUI lawyer in Los Angeles. The fastest way is by calling: 310-820-1315.