Can DUI charges be beat?

As a DUI defense attorney I get asked all the time can a DUI charges be beat. And the answer really is, "It depends."

Depends on what? Well it depends on a lot of things, but the first thing is what do you mean by beat a DUI. Some people mean a straight dismissal or not guilty finding. Others mean a conviction for anything but DUI, such as a reckless driving or public intoxication.

It also depends on what jurisdiction you are in. Some jurisdictions have a no reduction policy. That means you either plead guilty to the DUI or you take it to trial. No reckless driving or public intoxication reductions. Other jurisdictions are a little more liberal and allows these reductions.

The most important thing in assessing whether you can beat the DUI are the facts of the case itself. Why is that important? Well it just is. There are a variety of things to look at. And every case is different, no matter how similar they seem.

In jurisdictions that don't allow reductions, the facts of your case are highly important. Did the officer do everything within the frames of the Constitution? If the officer didn't, then you might be able to beat the case on a suppression motion, or what nonlegal people call a technicality. As in a recent case I had, the video proved the stop of my cleint was unlawful. I didn't even have to file a suppression motion when I pointed it out to the ADA. He just dropped it right there on the spot. If that doesn't work, then you go to a trial.

What about jurisdictions that allows reductions? One of the first things I ask people is, "Was there an accident?" It is hard, but not impossible, to get a reduction with an accident. Many factors weigh on the Assistant District Attorney's decision to agree to a reduction. Other things that weigh in are the results of any chemical tests. Is there a video of the traffic stop that sinks your case or potentially sets you free? It is hard to beat a DUI when your client says on the video that they are too drunk to do the field sobriety tests, or too drunk to drive, or anything else that makes me want to pull my hair out.

The best way to see if your DUI can be beat is to hire an attorney like me with a lot of experience successfully handling DUIs. Until you do that you'll never know for sure.