In order to convince the prosecutors to give you a lessor charge in a DUI case, your attorney will have to convince them that you were not a danger to others on the road at the time of driving. The more dangerous a person was, related to a DUI arrest, the more unlikely the prosecutors and judge will be to not cut them any slack. The political pressure that has been placed on the court system to harshly punish drunk drivers has reached an all time high and in my view only the best DUI defense attorneys can come up with solutions that make sense and actually work.
One huge factor in deciding whether to reduce a case to a wet reckless versus a standard DUI is how high the person’s blood alcohol level was at the time of driving. This once again comes back to the danger to the public issue. If the person had a high BAC then the prosecutors will perceive them as dangerous and do everything they can to severely punish them. On any first offense DUI in Los Angeles, where the person blew a .11 or below, a seasoned local DUI attorney will have a good chance to get a reduction. There are of course other factors that go into the prosecutor’s decision making process, but this is a big one.
Another area that I use all the time to convince the prosecutors to reduce my client’s case is information that is gathered by law enforcement before the arrest. For example, we look into how the person was driving (where they simply pulled over for allegedly swerving or did they get into an accident), when they exited their car were they staggering or walking normally, we see if they were cooperative with the police (those people who were cooperative and not belligerent have a good chance of being given a break), and finally we look at how the client did on the field sobriety tests (if they passed some of them, we are in a strong position to get a reduction). Again, this is all based in public safety and us mounting an argument that you were not a danger to the community at large will go a long way to getting what we want.
If you have a clean driving record, a valid drivers license and proof of insurance, these are also factors in your favor when we go to negotiate your case for you. Of course the argument that we want to make to the prosecutors is that your behavior in this case was an aberration that will never happen again. The more indications that we have to support that premise, the more likely we will have success in getting the resolution we are aiming for!
Another angle the prosecutors in Los Angeles will consider when it comes to reducing a DUI case relates to if they have any problems of proof in the case or if the defense has an argument that the police violated your constitutional rights during the arrest. Some of the arguments that I have had much success with relate to illegal stops of vehicles, if the police did not properly advise the person of their choice between blood or breath (just try and force them to take one of the tests), if the subject person is not driving when the police catch them, then we can use this to attack the prosecutor’s case and of course if there is a problem with the breath machine used to test the person’s blood alcohol level, this is a great linchpin to up end the prosecutor’s case.
When I meet with client’s related to their DUI matter, I have a goal in mind of making sure that they know what they are facing, what they can do to assist me and what we can realistically hope to achieve in resolving their case. This usually helps them take control of the situation and give them a peace of mind moving forward. In my opinion, our job is to make this process as easy as possible for you!