Articles Posted in Dismissal

If you have been charged with suspicion of driving under the influence, there is a whole process that must be completed prior to having been found guilty. Your case may be dismissed right from the very onset, before you even set foot in court.

When you are arrested, the officer who arrests you prepares a report and submits it to the Prosecutor’s office. Prosecutor’s will review the report and make a determination as to whether or not there is sufficient evidence to charge the driver and to take the case to trial. If the evidence is not sufficient, the case will be dismissed before it even gets to criminal court.

Once a case has already gone to trial, there are a number of ways to work towards a dismissal. A Los Angeles DUI Lawyer will take the time to learn the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and will work towards a strategy that leads towards dismissal, or in the very least, a reduction of charges.

In the previous blog titled “Is it possible to have a Los Angeles DUI case dismissed (Part One)” we discussed a scenario in which it was likely that Prosecutors would file charges. Let’s now consider an example in which Prosecutors may debate, or be on the fence on whether they should file charges or not.

Example 2: Donny is driving home from work. He has just worked a twelve hour day, and hasn’t slept well the night before. His eyes are red, his contacts are dry causing his eyes to water and he is unfocused and is not himself. As he is driving home late at night, he makes a right turn at a red light without stopping. An officer immediately stops him. Frustrated and tired, Donny is already irritated with having been stopped. The officer asks Donny if he has been drinking, and Donny, who is tired and does not want to deal with this, says “I do not have to answer any questions, it is my right to stay silent”. Officers then make a note of his “watery eyes” and his “lack of focus” and ask him to submit to a blood alcohol test. Donny asks the officers if they have any grounds for it, and if it is mandatory. The officers have to inform Donny that the field sobriety test at the arrest site is not mandatory, so Donny immediately says no he will not be taking it. Officers then arrest Donny and take him into custody. Once at the station, Donny has to submit to an alcohol test, which is mandatory. A refusal can lead to additional consequences if found guilty. Donny takes the test and the reading is .00. Officers let him go.

Donny’s case is not likely to be filed. Even though officers are able to establish that there was probable cause to pull Donny over, that is probably only probable cause there is. They could probably charge Donny with a traffic ticket but there is not sufficient evidence for a DUI. Prosecutors could only probe without issue that fact that Donny was driving, but would not be able to show that he was intoxicated. For a DUI charge, there would have to be both intoxication and driving.

In order to answer the question of whether it is possible to get a Los Angeles DUI case dismissed, it is important to first explain the process of how a case goes to criminal court in the first place.

When a person is arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, it is only a suspicion. It simple means that an officer who pulled the driver over, has enough evidence to believe that the person was both intoxicated and operating a vehicle. The officer will base this on his own observations, including the smell of alcohol, slurred speech, inability to follow direction, and any test results showing the presences of alcohol in the blood stream. This does mean that the driver is 100% guilty of a DUI, nor does it mean that the driver was in fact intoxicated, and he or she was operating a vehicle while intoxicated. All it means is that the driver more probably than not, based on the officer, was intoxicated and driving.

The officer will then forward their report to the prosecutor’s office. The prosecutor’s office will review each individual case, read the facts, the officer’s report and run a brief analysis with their legal experience and knowledge. If it seems to be a case in which the driver could be charged and found guilty of a DUI, a knowledgeable Los Angeles DUI Lawyer can tell you that chances are, the prosecutors will file charges.