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How to Get Your DUI Charge in California Dismissed

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DUI Charges in California

A DMV administrative hearing and a possible California DUI conviction can be scary if you’ve been arrested for DUI. Among other severe consequences, a person convicted of DUI charges can lose their driver’s license, serve jail time, pay a fine, and be subject to court-imposed limitations.

To handle your DUI or drunk driving case effectively, hire a top Van Nuys DUI attorney as soon as possible. Their experience in DUI cases and up-to-date knowledge of recent precedents of California DUI laws are helpful in getting DUI charges dismissed.

Circumstances for Dismissing a DUI Charge

DUI investigations can reveal specific circumstances that may result in your DUI being dismissed before trial. Whenever you have a valid reason to argue DUI charges should be dropped, you may file a “motion to set aside” or “motion to dismiss” with the court. The two circumstances when this request is most appropriate are:

  • Your preliminary DUI hearing was improperly conducted
  • Police officers never had just cause for a DUI case against you

While both circumstances depend on intricate legal considerations, they can get your case dismissed.

Best Defenses for Fighting a California DUI Case

Several defenses are available to you if you have been charged with DUI in California. High-quality California DUI attorneys often employ this strategy whenever the law warrants it. However, the circumstances of your case will determine whether a defense is enough to get your charge dismissed. Popular DUI defenses in California are:

Factual Issues With the Officer Testimony

In most driving under the influence cases, the arresting police officer will be the star witness for the prosecuting attorney. As a result, the State’s case may collapse if the arresting officer cannot testify or provide misleading testimony about the field sobriety test and the circumstances surrounding the DUI arrest.

In order to determine whether the arresting officers’ testimony is consistent, California DUI lawyers will cross-examine them extensively.

Your DUI Screenings Were not Completed Correctly

In a DUI case, the California State Police administer preliminary alcohol screening tests (PAS). The result of a breathalyzer’s test is a crucial piece of evidence. For years, the equipment has led to the conviction of guilty parties by determining their blood alcohol level. However, loopholes can arise if the equipment is not properly maintained. If the calibrations are challenged in court, the findings may be suppressed.

Field sobriety tests may potentially yield misleading results if the administering officer fails to follow basic protocol. When procedures aren’t followed precisely, tests may not be reliable. As a result, California law permits drivers to decline field sobriety tests.

A breath test taken at the crime scene may be inaccurate, providing an additional defense opportunity. Although stationhouse devices are known for their precision, the portable equipment used in the PAS can be inaccurate, resulting in false positives.

Consumption of certain meals, drinks, drugs, and other goods might result in a false reading while using the portable machine. These factors can skew the results of a breathalyzer test. It is crucial that the test be precise since a concentration of 0.01% can determine whether a person is within or over the legal limit.

You Were Stopped for a DUI Without Cause

It is generally illegal for a police officer to stop a car and question its occupants unless there is probable cause. Officers who stop a vehicle on suspicion of criminal activity without a predetermined sobriety checkpoint need probable cause.

There must be a suspicion that you broke the law, especially traffic law, for a law enforcement officer to pull you over. An illegal stop is one that does not have any justification and can result in a DUI dismissal.

If you feel that the police officer pulled you over for no reason, don’t back down. Finding a knowledgeable DUI lawyer to fight DUI charges can be a good move, even if you are facing your first DUI offense. An unreasonable traffic stop can be a good reason to challenge the case.

An attorney experienced with DUI laws in Los Angeles may succeed in challenging the legitimacy of the stop and throw out everything that transpired after the stop because it was based on a pretense. If the stop is found to be unlawful, evidence like blood alcohol content or sobriety test results may be quashed.

You Were Arrested Illegally

Misconduct by the police can result in your DUI charges being reduced or dismissed altogether. This includes, but is not limited to, excessive force, failure to read your constitutional rights upon arrest, and improper treatment of evidence.

When you are arrested for driving under the influence or other offenses, you will be granted a preliminary hearing before a judge formally facing the charges. It is possible that this hearing will occur the next day, or it may not occur for several weeks.

It is important to remember that you have considerable rights that require the hearings to be conducted in a particular way. Any violation of the rights of the accused could result in the case being thrown out under the Constitution.

Challenging a DUI Sentence Enhancement

In some cases, you may not have enough evidence to fight for the dismissal of the whole case. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t challenge other parts of the procedure.

For example, suppose after a DUI arrest, police tell you they need your blood sample. As you know, arrested drivers are required to give either blood, urine, or breath samples for further testing on the presence of alcohol or drugs. Blood tests are considered the most accurate.

Suppose you refused the test, and the officers immediately charged you for the refusal. Refusing to submit to a blood test is a sentence enhancement. In other words, it makes your potential DUI penalties even worse.

However, certain circumstances can challenge the refusal charge and potentially get it dismissed. Having a medical condition like hemophilia and explaining it to the police can be considered a valid reason for challenging the charge. Also, if you attempted to request a different type of test, but the police interpreted that as a refusal can also be considered a good reason.

In addition, police failing to explain that refusing a blood test can lead to increased penalties can be the reason to challenge the penalty enhancement. You may still have to face the original DUI charge. But, if a skilled DUI lawyer digs deeper, there may be other reasons to potentially challenge the whole case and get your DUI charges dropped.

What Are the Common Grounds for Dismissing a DUI Charge in California?

In California, several common grounds can lead to the dismissal of a DUI charge. One such ground is the violation of the defendant’s rights, such as an unlawful traffic stop or arrest, which goes against the California Vehicle Code. Another common ground is inaccuracies or errors in the DUI investigation, including improperly conducted field sobriety tests and mishandling of evidence.

How Can Inaccuracies in Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Testing Lead to a DUI Dismissal?

Inaccuracies in BAC testing are a significant factor in DUI cases. If the equipment used to measure blood alcohol concentration is faulty, or the test is administered incorrectly, the results may not be reliable.

Challenging the accuracy of BAC testing is a common legal defense employed by experienced DUI attorneys. If the defense can prove that the BAC results are unreliable, it may lead to the dismissal of the DUI charge.

An experienced DUI lawyer can scrutinize the particular DUI case, examining the procedures followed during the arrest and ensuring that the legal rights of DUI defendants are upheld.

If any irregularities are found, such as a lack of probable cause for the traffic stop or discrepancies in the police report, it can be grounds for dismissal.

Moreover, the consequences of DUI convictions are severe, including a suspended driver’s license, jail sentence, fines, DUI school attendance, and a criminal record.

Therefore, hiring an experienced DUI attorney is crucial for individuals facing DUI offenses, as they can navigate the legal system, potentially reducing legal fees and mitigating the legal consequences of a first-offense DUI or subsequent DUI arrests.

Is There a Difference Between Dismissal and Expungement

Expungement and dismissal are two different DUI outcomes. When your DUI case is dismissed, you can legally and firmly state that you have never been convicted of a crime before.

In contrast, if your probation period or early termination has ended, you can ask the court to withdraw your guilty plea and expunge the charge. Expungements provide you relief from many of the negative consequences of DUI convictions in California when the court grants them.

Why You Need a Lawyer for a DUI Charge Dismissal

There have been countless instances where experienced DUI defense attorneys have successfully been able to reduce or eliminate DUI charges that were seemingly indefensible.

It doesn’t matter if the arrest is a misdemeanor DUI or a more serious one, such as a DUI with an accident. If you need to mount a successful defense against the arrest, contact one of the skilled DUI attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney as soon as possible. We can evaluate your situation and explain how to prepare and present a successful defense. Where possible, we will push to have your DUI dismissed.

Schedule Your Consultation

Regardless of your circumstance, you are not alone in your fight. We are ready to stand by your side and fight for your rights, freedom, and reputation. Contact us today to schedule a free remote or in-person consultation, and let us assist you in finding a solution to your problem.