Alternate Resolutions For a DUI Case in Los Angeles
As far as DUI cases go, 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 rights violation that took place by the police or somebody else. They don't want to prosecute the case because they know the defense attorney will assert that rights violation and the person will get 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 shallow, you have no record, there's no accident, and the attorney argues that one of your rights was violated — a combination of those factors ends up causing the prosecutor to dismiss the case.
If the case is not dismissed, some of the alternate resolutions 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 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 getting rid of that DUI conviction would be huge in any DUI prosecution.
Another resolution that I've seen in the excellent case where the prosecution's evidence is weakly related to a DUI is a “dry reckless.” That means that there was no alcohol involved in your case, and you were 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 be a good result in a DUI case.
There's also 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 undoubtedly 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, 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 are 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. Still, it avoided getting the DUI, which would have been very costly to his driving record. He holds a professional attorney license, so obtaining a DUI conviction would jeopardize his request. So, getting that moving violation was undoubtedly a good result. But you can't always get that. Sometimes the moving violation is unavailable 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 operate a motor vehicle safely, or a 23152(b), which would be going with a blood-alcohol percentage of .08 or greater. Both are misdemeanors; both are DUIs; 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 other factors depending on the circumstances related to your DUI arrest.
So, these are several different resolutions that can occur. Suppose you want to know what you are up against and what you're likely to get in your DUI case in Los Angeles. In that case, you're going to want to sit down with a DUI attorney like me and go over the facts and details of your claim, and then you can get a good feel for what you're up against and what you can do get the best possible resolution.