What Are Common Reasons to Get a DUI Charge Dismissed?
Did you know that one in four DUI cases end up getting dismissed? Law enforcement officers are supposed to follow all sorts of guidelines when handling DUIs, and breaking any of them can cause the judge to throw out the entire case. Here are some of the most common reasons that a DUI charge can get dismissed.
The Traffic Stop for Your DUI Wasn’t Legal
Just like any other criminal case, the evidence against you can only be used if it was obtained legally. An officer has to have a reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed for stopping your vehicle in the first place. This can include anything like breaking a traffic law or being witnessed leaving a bar while visibly intoxicated. If the officer pulled you over while you were driving safely and normally, your case could be thrown out.
You are especially likely to have a case for dismissing your charges if there is reason to suspect bias. In situations like DUI checkpoints, officers are supposed to remain neutral and use a targeting method like searching every fifth car. If you think a biased officer targeted you based on your financial status, race, gender, or age, it’s worthwhile to speak to a Morristown criminal defense lawyer.
Your Sobriety Test Results Weren’t Accurate
Failing a blood test or breath test doesn’t necessarily guarantee a guilty conviction. Your DUI lawyer may be able to cast doubt on the accuracy of the test results. The most common reason for dismissing a DUI case based on sobriety test accuracy is if the officer used broken equipment or failed to calibrate the equipment correctly. Certain medications and foods can also impair the results of a Breathalyzer.
You can also cast doubt on the outcome if the test was not conducted promptly. In the case of blood tests, they are only valid evidence if they are properly labeled and handled. If there is doubt that your sample was uncontaminated, your case could be thrown out. Blood tests also have to be conducted promptly. If your sample sits for days, alcohol levels elevate naturally due to decomposition, so the results are skewed.
The Arresting Officer Didn’t Follow Legal Procedures
In any potential arrest for DUI, police officers have to follow several legal procedures. They have to read you your Fifth Amendment Miranda rights and give you the opportunity to speak to an attorney. If this did not happen in your DUI case, you have a very strong reason to get your case thrown out. Without being notified of your rights, any evidence you gave to incriminate yourself is no longer valid.
There can also be other minor mistakes that can get your whole case thrown out. In some cases, things like a law enforcement officer failing to sign a complaint or writing down your Breathalyzer results may affect your case. If basic procedural mistakes occur, your lawyer can argue that there is not enough valid evidence to charge you with a DUI.
A Non-Standard Sobriety Test Was Used
Not all police officers use breath tests or blood tests to determine sobriety. If they asked you to do something like recite the alphabet backwards, your Morristown criminal defense lawyer might have grounds to ask for case dismissal. Certain non-standard tests are challenging to complete whether a person is sober or drunk. If the only reason for your DUI charge was failing some complicated test, your lawyer may be able to get your case dismissed.
As you can see, these sorts of issues come up fairly regularly. With help from a talented lawyer, you may be able to get the charges thrown out. The Law Office of Gregg Wisotsky is here to help with your DUI case. Even in situations where a dismissal isn’t possible, the right representation can still potentially improve the outcome of your case. Ready to schedule an appointment at one of our Morris County offices? Give us a call at 973-898-0161 or send us a message now.