Can I Get My DUI Case Dismissed Altogether?
It is possible to get the entire DUI case dismissed. More often, however, the two DUI charges-Vehicle Code 23152a and Vehicle Code 23152b-are reduced to lesser offenses. These lesser offenses may be a wet reckless, a dry reckless, an exhibition of speed, or traffic infractions.
You still end up with the lesser charge on your record. But these lesser offenses generally involve substantially lesser penalties and consequences than the original DUI charges. This could mean lesser fines, shorter probation, a shorter alcohol program, no California drivers license suspension, and no DUI conviction on your record. If the charges are reduced to mere traffic infractions, this means no criminal record at all.
But of course what everyone really wants is to get the whole DUI case thrown out of court. We all yearn for the magic words: DUI CASE DISMISSED. How can this be done? There are several possibilities.
First, the prosecutor may be convinced to dismiss the DUI case. If the district attorney can be persuaded that the evidence is sufficiently weak, or that it will be difficult to prove the DUI case at trial, he/she sometimes throws in the towel and simply dismisses the case.
Second, the judge may dismiss the case if he/she finds that the police lacked probable cause. A special hearing is held in court called a “suppression motion” or a “Penal Code 1538.5 motion.” The DUI defense attorney argues that the police did not have a sufficient reason for either the traffic stop or the arrest. If the judge agrees, the DUI case is usually dismissed.
Finally, the DUI case is dismissed after a successful jury trial. If your DUI case goes to trial, and the jury finds you “not guilty,” then the case is dismissed and can never be refiled (because of “double jeopardy“). Moreover, if the jury acquits you of the Vehicle Code 23152b charge, this generally negates any drivers license suspension that the California DMV may have imposed.