DUI Charges Dismissed: How it Happens

Getting a DUI can be a scary experience, and many people who have been charged dread their day in court. For some drivers, however, this dread turns into joy after their DUI charges have been dismissed. There are a number of reasons why DUI charges could be dismissed, including:

Absent Law Enforcement
If the officer or officers involved in your DUI arrest are not present at your hearing, your DUI charges may be dismissed. Officers may not appear in court for a variety of reasons, but if those reasons are not legitimate excuses, the judge will likely dismiss the charges. This is because you have a right to face your accuser in court, and because the arresting officer acts as your accuser on behalf of the state, if he or she is not available, then your rights are being violated, and therefore, the case cannot proceed. Keep in mind that if the officer has a valid excuse for being absent, such as required training, your case may simply be moved to a future date.
Missing Paperwork
Additionally, missing or incorrect paperwork may cause a dismissal. Because the state needs to have paperwork documenting your DUI arrest and processing, your charges may dismissed if law enforcement and the prosecutor's office don't have things together. After researching some cases of a successful Orlando DUI attorney, it is also worth noting that you may also have your charges dismissed if the paperwork is present but has not been filled out completely or properly. In some situations, however, a judge may give the prosecution the chance to correct minor errors on the spot.

The Prosecution Relents
In some cases, the prosecution may be responsible for charges being dismissed. For example, if you are able to work out a deal with the prosecution ahead of your court date, the district attorney may decide to drop the charges, and therefore, a judge will dismiss the case. In other situations, the prosecution may decide to drop your DUI charges if it feels that it no longer has sufficient evidence to get a conviction. If you choose to negotiate with the prosecution, it's usually best to do so under the advisement of a DUI attorney.

No Probable Cause
You may also be able to have a DUI charge dismissed if you can prove that the stop that led to your arrest was illegal. Law enforcement officers need probable cause to conduct a stop, and without it, the stop is invalid. If you can show that the arresting officer had no legal reason to stop you in the first place, you have essentially rendered the prosecution's case moot, and you may have your charge dismissed. Once again, this is a situation where you may need to partner with a DUI attorney to successfully present your case in court.

Finally, the best way to avoid the situation altogether is to make responsible choices. Drinking and driving can cost you thousands of dollars in fines and fees, and it could even land you in jail. Aside from that, when you drink and drive, you are putting yourself and everyone around you at risk for injury or death. If you plan to go out drinking, bring along a designated driver or take public transportation - never drink and drive!

Researcher Shelby Warden contributes articles for the legal communities to educate the public. If you’ve been wrongfully charged with a DUI or just made an honest mistake of thinking you were okay to drive, the skilled Orlando DUI attorney team at Katz & Phillips will fight hard to prevent your arrest from ruining your plans for the future.
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