California treats first-time arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) very seriously. Drivers convicted of DUI face fines, jail time, and restrictions on their driving privileges. Many drivers want to limit the impact of a DUI accusation. You may wonder if a first offense DUI can be dismissed in California.
California courts do dismiss some first-time California DUI charges, but getting your DUI charges dismissed may be difficult. Focus on the following methods to get DUI accusations dismissed or resolved in other ways.
Getting Your California DUI Dismissed
A judge may dismiss the charges against you after your DUI arrest. However, the court system in California often treats drivers accused of a DUI harshly. You may want to work with a DUI lawyer to get your case dismissed. A lawyer may understand the arguments that help secure a dismissal. The court may throw out your case if:
You Were Stopped for a DUI Without Due Cause
Police officers in California are not allowed to stop you without a legal reason — this means that the officer must reasonably believe you are committing a criminal act before pulling you over. Drivers who are operating their vehicles in a lawful and reasonable way may not be stopped. A lawyer could work to show that the police officer stopped you for discriminatory reasons in some cases.
Your DUI Screenings Were Completed Incorrectly
You may face several BAC (blood alcohol content) assessments after being pulled over for a DUI. These assessments may include a breathalyzer, which is an alcohol measurement device. BAC tests can only return accurate results when administered correctly. You can dispute the BAC results if the tests:
- Were not carried out according to instructions.
- Were not appropriately maintained before use.
- Were mishandled by the lab.
Police officers are supposed to administer a breathalyzer test within a certain amount of time after you are stopped, for example. An officer who waits too long to conduct the test may get incorrect results — this could weaken the case against you.
There Are Factual Issues With Officer Testimony
The officer who arrested you may testify during your DUI case. The information they share must match up with what they included in their initial report. For example, an officer could claim that they saw bottles of alcohol in your vehicle. However, if they did not include this information in their report, it could be disputed.
A lawyer may go over all aspects of your DUI claim. Your lawyer may work to build a defense based on the facts of your case. You may learn more about your odds of getting a DUI dismissal.
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Focus on the Outcome of a DUI Dismissal in California
You may have a first-time DUI offense dismissed in California. A dismissal means the court completely drops the charges against you. The DUI charge no longer shows up on your record and does not count against you as a priorable offense.
Note that you must plead not guilty to get your charges dismissed. You enter your plea at your arraignment hearing in California. A lawyer may help you determine precisely what to say to the prosecutor and the court after a DUI.
Consider Other Methods to Resolve DUI Charges
Many drivers want to get their DUI charges dismissed in California, but this may not always be possible. Some DUI charges are handled in other ways. A DUI lawyer could work to get your charges reduced with a plea bargain.
A plea bargain requires you to agree to plead guilty in exchange for lowered penalties. Drivers who accept a plea bargain may still face:
- Some jail time.
- Limits on their driver’s license.
- DUI school attendance.
Your lawyer may also work to bring you a not-guilty verdict in court. Your DUI charge will not appear on your record if you are found not guilty. Additionally, you do not face any penalties if you are not guilty of a DUI offense in California.
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Speak to a Lawyer About Getting a First-Time DUI Dismissed
A first-time DUI offense in California may be dismissed in some cases. Get help handling your DUI charges with the Simmrin Law Group. It’s easy to reach our DUI lawyers. You may complete our online contact form to get additional information.
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