DUI cases are very scary because you get arrest and lose control of your custody freedom for a period of time. You're taken into custody and now you're facing a criminal charge, loss of your license and your reputation is on the line. Your work may be on the line depending on how they view a conviction for a DUI. So, a lot of people are searching for what they can do to get their case dismissed.
One confusing point that comes up is, once you get arrested and the police send you to court with usually a citation and you bail out and are ordered into court, there's nothing to get dismissed yet.
So, the first question is, how do you get your case not filed in the first place? That comes even before you start talking about a dismissal, because if they don't file it, it's even better because there's nothing to dismiss and there's nothing on your criminal record, other than possibly the arrest record which is a different subject.
Negotiation with Filing Prosecutor
So, talking about how you can avoid a case even getting filed in the first place, that's where you give your attorney all the information. Your attorney can approach the filing prosecutor. It's usually the City Attorney if it's a misdemeanor DUI and try to convince them not to even file it. But, once a case is filed, then you can start thinking about what you can do to get it dismissed.
The first angle, obviously, is to show the prosecutors that they have a problem with the case and that the problem is serious enough to warrant a dismissal. Sometimes there can be a problem with a DUI case in Los Angeles with proving that the blood alcohol level was a .08 or greater.
That's one way to get a case dismissed. Another problem that I see frequently in DUI cases in which, of course, I've been using for the last twenty-five years, is to argue that the person that's being charged wasn't driving the vehicle and they can't prove when the person was driving the vehicle.
If you can't prove when the driving took place in relation to taking the person's blood alcohol level, that's a big problem in any DUI case. That's one angle that can be used to dismiss a case.
Another angle to dismiss a case is to get a not guilty verdict in a jury trial and then the judge would dismiss the criminal charges and the DUI charges against that particular person. So, there's a bunch of different angles. Motions can be filed. There can be a blood split done if there's blood taken. Experts can be hired. So, this is definitely a way to get a dismissal in any DUI case.
There's another way. Another example is, what if you've been convicted and then after the conviction you want to get a dismissal in a DUI case? There's a motion that can be filed pursuant to Penal Code Section 1204.3 which is basically asking the court to dismiss the case.
Sometimes this is called an “expungement,” but the reality is in California, they now call this a “dismissal.” In order to get this dismissal, the probation has to be over. The person will have had to have done everything are supposed to during the probation, not picked up any new criminal cases and not picked up any probation violations. Then they can seek a dismissal pursuant to Penal Code 1203.4 of their entire DUI case.
A lot of people will try to do this before their probation is over. Most of the time this is going to be met with a denial by the judge. First off, your probation is not over so you can't get it dismissed.
Secondly, if you haven't completed all of the terms and conditions of your probation, there's no way you're going to get the case dismissed. There are circumstances that I've seen and I have been involved with, a motion to terminate the probation early. If that's granted, then you can request that the judge dismiss the case pursuant to Penal Code Section 1203.4.
So, if you're looking for a dismissal, you're going to need to sit down with a DUI attorney who has handled a lot of cases in Los Angeles, who has had success in both felonies and misdemeanors, and who knows all the angles. What I do is sit down with somebody. I listen to what they say.
I use my experience and common sense, and if the case is not going to be dismissed, then I'm going to tell the person. There's no reason to lie to somebody and not be genuine with them. Tell them it is not going to be dismissed and tell them why it's not going to be dismissed.
Maybe it can't be dismissed now, but it could be dismissed at some future time. You tell the person about it. You tell them what steps and procedures they are going to need to engage in order to get that dismissal.
The reality in California is, there's no such thing as a true expungement. So, it's not going to ever be wiped off somebody's record. It will just show that there's a dismissal on record after a DUI case. So, this is how criminal cases work.
This is how DUI cases work. So, if you need answer, you need to get to somebody like me, set up a consultation and get the case taken care of.