Can You Get My DUI Reduced?
A common question for me is whether or not I can get DUI charges reduced. This could be in the case of first offense DUI and it could be a felony causing injury. Most often, the circumstance is a first or second offense, misdemeanor DUI with a blood alcohol test above .10.
When a client blows over .10, the prosecutors tend to feel that their case is more “provable” and are far less likely to reduce the charge. By contrast, a DUI with a .08 or .09 is quite often reduced. What can be done about the higher BAC cases?
My answer is to work the case. Client’s should plan on taking an active role in their case. The client needs to be ready to answer questions from me. I need to know more about the client then the judge or prosecutor ever will. Are they U.S. citizens? Will they lose a job or license? Are they hear on DACA? What can the client tell me that will help me convince a DA to reduce their charges?
Next, I set the DMV hearing. I can use the subpoena powers of the DMV to get documents, and to compel witnesses to be in court. I recently had a DMV hearing set aside on a Ventura DUI where my police officer witness refused to answer my questions. I recently had a DUI in Van Nuys reduced after my police officer witness testified under penalty of perjury that he administered a breath test to my client 3 hours before the time he stated under penalty of perjury that he pulled the client over.
Next, we go to court. We make a formal request for discovery. We get machine records, lab results, audio and video of our client’s arrests. Clients need to be ready to spend a bit of time reviewing the police reports and, if necessary, even the video tape of the event.
Are there any motions that need to be filed? A discovery motion may be required if the prosecution has not turned over all necessary documents. A motion to suppress evidence may need to be filed if there was a lack of probable cause for the contact by law enforcement. A Pitchess motion may need to be filed if the officer or officers used excessive force or lied in their police reports.
If you lawyer is talking to you about entering a guilty plea at the arraignment, you may not have the right lawyer. If your lawyer is telling you that a “no contest” plea is better than a guilty plea, you may have the wrong lawyer. If your lawyer is telling you (before the plea) that you can expunge your conviction in 18 months, you may have the wrong lawyer.
Now, if we still haven’t been able to get the DA to crack, we may have to set your case for trial. Many clients seem hesitant to do this. They are scared about the possibility of going to trial. They are conscious of the costs of possibly going to trial and they may not have the time to go to trial. Most misdemeanors don’t actually go to trial. Most cases settle. But setting the case for trial sometimes forces the court’s hand or the DA’s hand. They can’t try every case.
I recently set a DUI in Van Nuys for trial. It was .11 blood alcohol. The prosecution accidentally subpoenaed the police officers for the wrong day. I got my wet reckless. My client, who was working on a major construction project at LAX got to keep his job. That was one happy client. I’m happy too. I like referrals and that client is bound to send them to me.
If you or someone you care about has been arrested for DUI based on drugs, alcohol or a combination of the two, call a lawyer who is an expert at getting DUI’s reduced.
Jeffrey Vallens (818) 783-5700 or (805) 230-3651
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit my sites: 4criminaldefense.com or westlakecriminaldefense.com
I look forward to helping you.