Is it Possible to Have a Los Angeles DUI Case dismissed? (Part One)

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.

To better illustrate this, let’s consider an example in which Prosecutors will likely file charges.

Example 1: David is at a friend’s birthday, and has had a few beers to drink. He believes he is not impaired to drive his car, and gets behind the wheel. On his way home, he forgets to turn on his headlights and is pulled over by officers. The officers ask David if he has been drinking, to which he replies “yes, I have had a few beers but I feel fine”. Having reasonable suspicion that David has been drinking, through David’s own admission, officers administer a field sobriety test which comes back with a reading of .12. This is a case that Prosecutors are likely to file and charge David with a DUI. There was sufficient cause for officers to pull David over; the headlights were not on. There was also sufficient reason for officers to administer a field sobriety test; David’s admission that he had been drinking. There is also enough evidence that David was driving at the time, as officers had to pull him over and observed him driving the vehicle, and enough evidence of David’s intoxication, the fact that his BAC was .12. This is sufficient for Prosecutor’s to file charges, but that does not, in and of itself, mean that David will be found guilty.