As far as DUI cases goes, after the arrest there could be a dismissal because after reviewing all of the evidence, the prosecutors feel that there's not enough evidence to prosecute you for a DUI, or feel there may be some sort of a rights violation that took place by the police or somebody else and they don't want to prosecute the case because they know the defense attorney will assert that rights violation and the person will end up getting off, so why waste the taxpayer money.
Other results are that your attorney can convince the prosecutors to dismiss the case for one reason or another. Maybe the blood alcohol level was very low, you have no record, there's no accident, and the attorney has an argument that one of your rights was violated — combination of those factors ends up causing the prosecutor to dismiss the case.
Alternate Resolutions For a DUI Case in Los Angeles
If the case is not dismissed, then some of the alternate resolutions that are available in DUI cases in Los Angeles are as follows:
- One thing is, if you're close to the legal limit, like a .08 or .09, your attorney can convince the prosecutors to give you what's called a “speed contest.” It's basically a violation of the Vehicle Code and has to do with racing another person. It has nothing to do with a DUI, so this would be a good result after a DUI arrest, because the person doesn't end up with a DUI conviction on their record. You may still have to do some of the punishments associated with a DUI – like an alcohol program, probation and a fine – but just getting rid of that DUI conviction would be huge in any DUI prosecution.
- Another resolution that I've seen in the right case where the prosecution's evidence is weak related to a DUI is what's called a “dry reckless.” That basically means that there was no alcohol involved with your case and you were just driving recklessly on the road, which will give you two points on your record, but certainly wouldn't be the same as a DUI. The punishment wouldn't be the same and the conviction wouldn't be the same. So, this would obviously be a good result in a DUI case.
- There's also what's called a “wet reckless” where somebody is convicted of driving recklessly with alcohol in their system, but it's not a full-fledged DUI. This is certainly a better resolution than a DUI, but not much better because it's still prior-able, meaning if you were to get another one of those or a DUI, you'd be looking at a second-time DUI, and a lot of times the same punishment comes along with a wet reckless. But obviously, if you had your choice between a wet reckless and a DUI, you would choose a wet reckless.
- Other resolutions that I've seen obtained and that I've certainly obtained for my clients is what's called a “moving violation.” I had one case where my client was an attorney and had a DUI charged against him and we were able to convince the prosecutor to give him two moving violations. This put a couple of points on his record, but it avoided getting the DUI which would have been very costly to his driving record and also costly because he holds a professional attorney license, so getting a DUI conviction would put his license in jeopardy. So, getting that moving violation was certainly a good result. But you can't always get that. Sometimes the moving violation is not available because the prosecutors want something closer to a DUI.
- Finally, another result would be a DUI. A bare minimum DUI in Los Angeles county would be a plea to either a Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) which is driving with alcohol in your system and not being able to safely operate a motor vehicle, or a 23152(b) which would be driving with a blood alcohol percentage of .08 or greater. Both are misdemeanors; both are DUI's; both would require a minimum of three years of probation, a $390 fine plus penalty assessment, a minimum of a three-month alcohol program and a host of other factors depending on the circumstances related to your DUI arrest
So, these are a number of different resolutions that can occur. Obviously, if you want to find out what you are up against and what you're likely to get in your DUI case in Los Angeles, you're going to want to sit down with a DUI attorney like me and go over the facts and details of your case and then you can get a good feel for what you're up against and what you can do to get the best possible resolution.