Reducing DUI Charges
Many people may be terrified by the consequences of a DUI conviction. Besides resulting in a criminal record, a conviction may also bring the imposition of harsh judicial penalties, including jail time, fines, alcohol abuse treatment, and the installation of an ignition interlock device. Seeking a reduction in DUI charges may be possible when supported by the facts and circumstances in your case. If you are interested in reducing DUI charges, you should talk to Phoenix DUI attorney James E. Novak. As a former prosecutor, he understands the strategies for seeking the most favorable outcome in drunk driving cases.Reducing DUI Charges
Under Arizona law, courts can only reduce DUI charges that are factually insufficient. Moreover, not every court will allow for a reduction of DUI charges at all. Each court follows its own set of rules. To determine whether a reduction in DUI charges is possible, you must appraise your lawyer of all the facts in your case to permit a thorough investigation of the charges. For instance, if the police officer lacked reasonable suspicion required under Fourth Amendment case law to conduct a stop, your lawyer may be able to bring a motion to suppress any evidence obtained during the stop, such as the outcome of a field sobriety or breath test. The prosecutor may be more amenable to reducing DUI charges if the court has suppressed evidence critical to obtaining a conviction in the case.
To arrest a driver for DUI, the police officer must have probable cause. For example, if an officer inappropriately administered or interpreted a field sobriety test that resulted in an arrest, the defense may consider bringing a motion to suppress evidence obtained after the arrest. Your attorney may also evaluate whether the police violated other constitutional rights that would allow the suppression of additional pieces of evidence or call into question the arresting officer’s credibility.
When the DUI charge isn't well supported by the facts, the prosecution may agree to reduce a DUI charge to reckless driving, which is a class 2 misdemeanor. Generally, a reckless driving conviction carries penalties that are less harsh and less stigmatized than drunk driving. A reckless driving conviction is not the same as a DUI conviction for the purposes of determining whether a driver is a repeat offender. This is crucial because if you are arrested for DUI again, you can still be treated as a first offender. When a DUI is reduced to a lesser offense, you may not have your driver's license suspended. However, you may still need to install an ignition interlock device.Dismissal
Complete dismissal of DUI charges is rare and more difficult to secure than a plea deal. You would need to get all or almost all the evidence suppressed in order to obtain a dismissal. As with other criminal charges, a prosecutor must establish DUI charges beyond a reasonable doubt. If the defense can persuade the prosecution that it can introduce facts that would raise reasonable doubt with the jury, it may be possible to secure a dismissal. Work with an attorney who has a strong reputation with prosecutors to protect your legal rights.Reduced Penalties
Sometimes, the defense cannot convince the prosecution to reduce the charges, particularly if the police followed proper procedures and strong evidence supporting a conviction exists. However, you may be able to plea bargain for reduced penalties or develop a strong case that mitigating factors present in your case call for a more lenient sentence.Retain an Experienced Phoenix Lawyer
Reducing DUI charges can be challenging. However, a reduction can make a significant difference to the penalties you face. Attorney James E. Novak is experienced in handling DUI cases. He can investigate your case to develop a defense strategy that may yield the most favorable outcome. He represents clients in Phoenix, Gilbert, Tempe Chandler, Mesa, Scottsdale and throughout Maricopa County. Contact him at (480) 413-1499 or complete our online form.