Someone is caught drinking and driving. They did the roadside test and the officers tested the driver’s BAC (blood alcohol content). Then, the driver was arrested. It doesn’t matter if they were only over the legal limit by a tiny bit or if they were over by a lot, they’re now facing DUI charges. The first piece of advice most people get is to hire an attorney, but they may wonder if there’s much an attorney can do. It turns out, there’s quite a bit the attorney can do to help.
Try to Have the Charges Dismissed
There are multiple reasons why a DUI charge can be dismissed, depending on the facts of the case. If the officers didn’t have any reason to stop the vehicle, for instance, it could be argued that the stop was illegally conducted and, therefore, the charges must be dropped. If the BAC test was not properly calibrated, was known to cause issues, or was found to be incorrect due to more accurate testing being done, it may be possible to have the charges dismissed completely. An attorney will look into a case carefully to see if there’s any possible way to have the charges dismissed completely, saving their client from a trial and conviction.
Try to Have the Charges Reduced
It is possible that the attorney can convince the prosecution to reduce the charges, as they may be able to show there isn’t enough evidence to support the current charges. If this isn’t possible, the defendant’s attorney may request a plea deal. With a plea deal, the client will plead guilty to lesser charges. This does mean the defendant will have a conviction on their record or a traffic-related ticket, but it’s better than a felony conviction that could have a lifelong impact.
Reduce the Impact the Charges May Have
An attorney may try to request a reduced sentence from the judge. This means the defendant, even though they’re convicted, won’t spend as much time in jail. The attorney can also request their client be allowed to have a hardship license, which enables them to drive to certain locations like work. Another option, one that is typically only for first-time offenders, is to request treatment in lieu of a jail sentence.
Depending on the orders from the judge and the severity of the conviction, it may even be possible to have the conviction erase as long as the defendant completes the full treatment program. The defendant will likely still need to avoid any arrests in the next few years to keep the conviction off their record, but this could be a way to start over with a clean slate.
If you’ve been arrested and charged with a DUI, it doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. In fact, it’s possible for you to get a better outcome for your case and perhaps avoid criminal charges completely. The first step you need to take, however, is to speak with one of the local DUI attorneys and get their assistance as fast as possible for your case. Once you hire an attorney, they’ll look into every detail to see what can be done.