A DUI charge is expensive, time consuming and energy draining. Most people are concerned about the possible penalties that they may receive during sentencing. I’m frequently asked about how to get a DUI dismissed altogether.
While it’s certainly possible, it’s not common. This is because of the various factors of a DUI traffic stop (field sobriety tests, chemical tests, blood test results, etc) that judges consider during sentencing. If it’s not possible to get your DUI charge dismissed, your attorney should focus on how to limit your penalties as much as possible.
While most judges have their own sentencing methods, there are several ways to improve your odds of receiving a lower sentence. These won’t always be inexpensive or time-saving; however, they’ll show the judge that you’re serious about your charges and your future.
Should I Get a Substance Abuse Evaluation?
If you’re arrested for a DUI, the courts will assume that you have a drinking/substance abuse problem. While this is true for some people with multiple DUI convictions, most people’s first DUI arrest will be the only time they’re arrested by law enforcement. In fact, most people don’t have as much as a traffic violation on their criminal record prior to a police officer arresting them for a DUI.
Regardless, you should seek out getting a substance abuse evaluation. Your defense lawyer can help you with this process. While this isn’t free, it provides you with the opportunity to be examined by a professional. Judges often feel more comfortable giving lower sentences to those who seem proactive and invested in their future.
How Else Can I Limit My DUI Penalties?
One of the biggest factors of the pre-trial process is testing on bond. The court wants you to be sober, which is why they usually set up random drug and alcohol testing early on in your case.
This testing takes form in urine, breath, or blood samples. Most people are required to take urine tests or given a portable breathalyzer machine to test the amount of alcohol in your system. You MUST take this seriously. Judges reward those who test on time with negative results with positive sentencing outcomes.
Any late, positive or dilute tests are viewed harshly and come with the possibility of jail time. You’re also likely to receive less testing during probation if you’ve done well prior to sentencing.
Will Attending AA Help Lower my DUI Sentence?
This depends. Did you learn anything? Did you actively participate and work the program?
Judges can see through someone who shows up to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) solely to check a box. AA works wonders for those who invest in the program and actively work the steps. However, if you already know AA is not for you, but you would like to show participation in a program, outpatient programs through hospitals are a fantastic alternative.
The worst thing you can do is show up to court with a full AA sign-in sheet, but you don’t know Step 1 or any other lesson from the program. To achieve the best outcome in your DUI case, be honest with yourself and attend a program that works for you.
Fighting a DUI
At the end of the day, we’re criminal defense attorneys and counselors. We’re here to listen to your story and your struggles. We can give you options and referrals if we know about you and your story.
After that, we’ll direct you towards the services you need for the best outcome at sentencing, and possible get your DUI dismissed. You have one shot at sentencing; help us achieve your goals in beating your DUI case.