A DUI can be dismissed – but we must put in some work first.
How to Get a DUI Dismissed
Many clients have this image of the defense lawyer rolling into court and speaking with the prosecutor in the backroom. They believe all the defense lawyer must do is explain to the prosecutor why the evidence against the client isn’t strong, and the case is dismissed.
The reality is the prosecutor will not simply dismiss the case because the defense explains why the case should be dismissed (unless the prosecutor is really cool). DUI laws are tougher than ever. And with that comes pressure on the prosecutor to bring these cases.
Also, the reality is the prosecutor likely doesn’t care whether the case isn’t strong. A lot of these cases have problems, and the prosecutor knows that. The prosecutor also knows that most defense attorneys will do nothing to actually fight the case. The prosecutor has no incentive to dismiss the case when defense attorneys aren’t fighting cases.
You Must Fight the DUI to Get the Case Dismissed
Unless you fight the case, the prosecutor can never lose. It’s that simple. Therefore, you must be willing to fight the case.
It starts with preparation. Defense attorneys must examine every piece of evidence. We must question every assumption made by the prosecution. There must be time spent simply brainstorming, thinking about, and researching various issues and evidence in the case. Once this is done the defense attorney will have an idea of what are the weak points of the case.
We can attack the weak points of the case by filing motions. A motion is where we go in front of the judge before trial to request something of the judge. We might request the judge hold that a piece of evidence is so unreliable that is cannot be put in front of the jury. Or we argue that a piece of evidence was obtained unconstitutionally and must be suppressed. Either way, we are usually asking the judge to throw out a piece of evidence.
Getting evidence eliminated weakens the prosecution’s case. Prosecutors will be more hesitant to go forward with a case that is actually weakened – and not just told that it is weak. This only happens when the defense attorney is proactive in preparation and in litigating the case. It only happens through work on our part.
Taking DUI Cases to Trial
Some issues in DUI cases are better left for trial instead of a motion. The reason is beyond the scope of this article . Nevertheless, pushing a case toward trial is a strong way of fighting the case. You’re doing more than simply telling the prosecutor why the case should be dismissed, you are literally trying to beat the case.
By pushing a case toward trial you have changed the dynamic of the litigation into one in which you can now win the entire case. Once this happens everything is on the table. When you fight the case so strongly all of a sudden plea deals get better and the possibility of a dismissal occurs. Witnesses may be unavailable, evidence cannot be located, and the prosecutor has a better understanding of the weaknesses in their case.
Sam Bernstein is an Ann Arbor DUI Attorney.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.