Did you know that you can get your driving under the influence (DUI) charge dismissed in California before even going to court? Police arrest about 1.5 million people per year due to driving under the influence. In the United States, it is illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol level that is .08% or higher. If pulled over for drinking and driving, you can get charged with a DUI. Luckily, in the state of California, you can get it dismissed before heading to court.
Complete Your Probation
When you get a DUI in California, you will get probation. This probation keeps you out of jail as long as you follow the terms and restrictions that are laid out. Depending on if it is your first DUI charge or your second (or more), these conditions will vary. In general, you will need to pay a fine ranging from $300 to $1,000, you will have a suspended driver’s license for six months to four years, you will need to attend DUI school and you will have to spend a set number of days in your county’s jail.
Probation varies between each person, but typically, you will have three to five years of informal probation where you will not have a probation officer. If you follow and finish all the terms and restrictions laid out in your probation, you can get it dismissed under the penal code section 1203.4. However, you need to make sure you have a solid case to present to the judge. This is where a great defense attorney comes to play.
Follow All the Requirements
If you want to have your DUI charge dismissed in California, there are a few things you need to have done to qualify. Your probation must end or undergo a termination and, you must meet all the conditions of your probation before even thinking about getting it dismissed. You must also not have any new crimes or be serving a sentence for other convictions. Finally, your misdemeanor must be eligible for expungement.
So how do you get the charge expunged? Well, there are a few more requirements you must fall under for this to occur. Your probation has to be over or terminated while also fulfilling all its requirements. You must also not commit any new crimes or be serving for any other convictions or have pending criminal charges. Once you have all of this, then you can go in front of a judge and present your case.
Claim That it was an Unreasonable Traffic Stop
If you feel that the police officer pulled you over for no reason, then you can fight to drop the charge by claiming that there was an unreasonable traffic stop. For an officer to pull you over, there must be a suspicion that you violated a law, especially a traffic law. Now, if you run traffic signs or stop lights, drive all over the road or are speeding, then they have every right to pull you over. But if they pull you over on just a ‘hunch,’ then you can fight that in court.
Check for False Sobriety Tests
Not known by many people, the sobriety tests that officers implement are not 100% accurate. Even sober people struggle with walking in a straight line, saying their ABCs backward and standing on one leg. There are many more factors that can cause people to fail these tests besides drugs and alcohol including fatigue, vertigo and some medications. Luckily, this means that you can easily fight your DUI charge if you fall under this category.
Prove That they Violated the Breath Test Procedure
If not properly maintained or administered, a breathalyzer can give false positives. Breathalyzers are the most common way to test your blood alcohol content levels. Officers must observe you for 15 minutes before even trying it on you. If they do not wait this allocated amount of time, then you need to contact your attorney pronto. Mouthwash and medications can occasionally give false results as well.
Show Suppressed Blood Tests
Anytime you have blood drawn, you need to be in a safe and sterile environment. And most importantly, it must not be due to an injury. For example, if an officer causes you harm to retrieve a blood sample, then you can get it suppressed. It is illegal to gain blood through harmful interactions. You must also be in a safe and sterile environment like a hospital or lab. Outside factors can contaminate blood samples and give false positives or inclusive results. If you did a blood test and it was not in a sterile environment or an officer forced you, you can get your DUI charge dismissed.
Just because you have a DUI charge does not mean you will get charged. If you live in California and are facing this charge, contact Grant Bettencourt. For the past five years, he has successfully worked with hundreds of clients as their Criminal Defense Attorney. For more information or to schedule an appointment, give us a call today.