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How can an attorney help get DUI charges reduced or dismissed?

By Spodek Law Group | October 16, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 17, 2023)

Last Updated on: 17th October 2023, 06:21 pm


How an Attorney Can Help Get DUI Charges Reduced or Dismissed

Getting arrested for DUI can be scary. The penalties are severe and include jail time, losing your license, and fines. But with the help of an experienced DUI attorney, you may be able to get the charges reduced or even dismissed.

Here’s an overview of how a DUI lawyer can help build your defense:

Review the Stop and Arrest

First, your attorney will look at the reason you were stopped in the first place. Did the officer have probable cause to pull you over? There may be issues with the validity of the traffic stop that could lead to evidence being suppressed. Your lawyer may also examine if you were properly informed of your rights and if the arrest procedure was done correctly.

Challenge the Evidence

A major part of any DUI defense is examining the evidence against you. This includes the breath or blood test results. Your attorney will check that the equipment used was calibrated properly and the test was administered correctly. They may be able to get unreliable test results thrown out.

Question the Officer’s Observations

The officer’s observations about your apparent intoxication will be recorded. This includes things like slurred speech, balance issues, and the smell of alcohol. Your attorney will look closely at these details. For example, your unsteadiness could have been caused by a medical condition or injury rather than intoxication.

Explore Defenses

There are many technical DUI defenses that a lawyer may use in your case. For example, they may argue that your drink was spiked without your knowledge causing the intoxication. Or that your blood alcohol level increased between driving and taking the test, putting you over the limit. There’s also the possibility you were not actually driving the vehicle when arrested.

Negotiate a Plea Bargain

Rather than taking a case to trial, your DUI lawyer may be able to negotiate a plea bargain with reduced charges. This could involve pleading to reckless driving rather than DUI. A plea deal could significantly limit the penalties you face.

Go to Trial

If a plea bargain cannot be reached, your attorney may recommend taking your case to trial. By examining all the evidence and challenging the prosecution’s case, they may be able to successfully defend you against the DUI charges.

Why You Need an Attorney

Trying to navigate the complex DUI process alone is extremely difficult. An experienced DUI lawyer has the knowledge and resources to build the strongest defense for your unique case. They can identify issues the average person would never notice. With so much at stake, it’s critical to have legal representation protecting your rights and future.

Here are some of the top reasons why hiring a DUI attorney is so important:

  • They understand DUI laws and defenses inside and out
  • They can evaluate if your rights were violated
  • They have experience negotiating plea bargains
  • They can challenge unreliable evidence
  • They know how to prepare for trial and defend you
  • They deal with prosecutors and judges regularly
  • They can find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case
  • They know how to present evidence effectively
  • They can guide you through the complex legal process
  • They have access to expert witnesses and investigators

With an attorney as your advocate, you have a much better chance of a positive outcome. They will aggressively defend your rights and freedom.

Finding the Right DUI Lawyer

Not every attorney has the skills and experience to take on DUI cases. It’s important to do your research to find someone truly qualified. Here are some tips for choosing the best lawyer for your situation:

  • Look for an attorney who specializes specifically in DUI defense
  • Find someone experienced handling cases similar to yours
  • Ask about their track record getting charges reduced or dismissed
  • Choose a local lawyer familiar with prosecutors and judges
  • Find someone you feel comfortable communicating with
  • Ask plenty of questions to understand their approach
  • Look for affordable payment plans if needed
  • Read reviews online to learn about their reputation

The consequences for a DUI conviction can follow you for years. Having the right legal defense on your side can help you move forward with your life. Be proactive in seeking experienced counsel to give you the best chance of overcoming the charges.

Once you’ve hired an attorney, here’s a general overview of the steps involved in the legal process following a DUI arrest and how a lawyer can help at each stage:

Initial Court Appearance

After being released from jail, you’ll be given a date to appear in court for an arraignment. This is where formal charges are presented and you enter a plea. Your lawyer will advise you on plea options and represent you at this hearing.

Evidence Gathering

Your attorney will request evidence in the case from the prosecution through the discovery process. This can include documents, video footage, device calibration records, and more. They will examine it all to build your defense.

Pretrial Motions

Your lawyer may make pretrial motions to get certain evidence suppressed or dismissed if there are constitutional issues. For example, challenging the legality of the traffic stop or improper administration of a breath test.

Plea Negotiations

Your attorney will negotiate with the prosecutor to try to get a plea bargain for reduced charges. This avoids the risk and expense of trial. A plea deal may involve counseling, community service and fines rather than jail time.


If a plea agreement can’t be reached, your lawyer will vigorously defend you at trial. They will argue to the judge and jury that you are not guilty or should be convicted of lesser charges based on the evidence.


If found guilty, your attorney will advocate for the lightest sentence. They’ll point to any mitigating factors like no prior offenses. For a first DUI with no aggravating factors, sentencing may involve fines, DUI classes and probation rather than jail time.

Having an experienced DUI lawyer to guide you through the complex legal process can make all the difference. They have the skills and knowledge to protect your rights and future at every step.

The Benefits of Getting Charges Dismissed

The best possible outcome is getting your DUI charges dismissed completely. While challenging, this result is possible in some cases with an aggressive legal defense. Here are some major benefits if your attorney can get charges thrown out:

  • No criminal record – A dismissal means no DUI conviction on your record, which is important for future employment and other consequences.
  • Avoid fines – You won’t have to pay fines, which can reach thousands of dollars for a DUI conviction.
  • Keep your license – Your driver’s license won’t be suspended, allowing you to maintain your normal driving privileges.
  • No jail time – You avoid mandatory minimum jail sentences that come with a DUI conviction.
  • No probation – You won’t be subject to supervised probation and restrictions like alcohol testing.
  • No DUI classes – You won’t have to complete alcohol education classes and treatment programs.
  • Lower insurance rates – DUI charges raise insurance premiums, but a dismissal means rates won’t go up.
  • Travel/immigration – A dismissal prevents any impact on travel or immigration status from a conviction.
  • Employment – Your job prospects won’t be reduced by having a DUI on your record.

While getting a DUI dismissed is not easy to achieve, an experienced attorney can help make it happen in the right circumstances. It’s the best possible way to move on from an arrest without long-term consequences.

Getting Charges Reduced

If getting charges fully dismissed is not realistic, the next best option is a reduction in charges. Prosecutors may agree to a plea deal to convict you of lesser charges to secure a conviction while saving time and expense of trial. Some common ways charges can be reduced include:

  • Reckless Driving – A common DUI plea deal is reducing charges to reckless driving. There is no mandatory minimum jail time and lower fines.
  • Wet Reckless – In some states, a wet reckless plea includes alcohol education classes but no DUI on your record.
  • Negligent Driving – This may include traffic school and fines but no jail time or license suspension.
  • First Offender Programs – These programs upon completion lead to no criminal record for first-time offenders.

While reduced charges are still serious, they have significantly lower penalties than a DUI conviction. An attorney can negotiate with the prosecution for a fair outcome that avoids harsh mandatory minimums.

Why Reduced Charges Matter

The consequences of reduced charges versus a full DUI conviction are very different. With an attorney’s help, you may be able to plead to a lesser offense and avoid some of the most severe penalties of a DUI. Here are some key differences:

  • No mandatory jail time – Reduced charges often just involve fines and classes rather than mandatory minimum jail sentences.
  • Shorter license suspension – Your license may be suspended for months rather than years as with a DUI conviction.
  • Lower fines – Greatly reduced financial penalties that are more manageable.
  • No ignition interlock – You may avoid having to install this expensive breathalyzer device in your vehicle.
  • No DUI on record – Certain reduced pleas allow you to avoid having a DUI conviction on your criminal record.
  • Easier employment – Many employers won’t hire someone with a DUI, but reduced charges have less impact.
  • Lower insurance – Plea deals keep insurance premiums from skyrocketing as they would with a DUI.

While any alcohol-related offense has consequences, a reduction in charges can be the difference between manageable penalties or severe life disruption. An experienced DUI lawyer has the negotiating skills to secure the best deal.

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