For what reasons might a DUI case be dismissed?
Driving Under the Influence is considered a criminal offense in Pennsylvania. Due to the seriousness with which the Commonwealth views DUI charges, it is typically very difficult to convince a prosecutor to withdraw or a judge to dismiss the case. However, a good attorney does his homework and will utilize any reasonable circumstance to maneuver a favorable outcome.
DUI prosecutions hinge upon the prosecutor being able to prove guilt via one of two methods: (1) Field Sobriety Testing (FST) results or (2) Chemical Testing - either breath or blood. This means that the prosecution can demonstrate the defendant was indeed intoxicated either through officer observation of FSTs, and testimony to such effect, or a breath/blood test which indicates intoxication.
To Beat a DUI Charge, you must prove both to have yielded flawed results. FSTs can be beaten if the video indicates that the tests were incorrectly administered. These tests are relatively simple, but absent appropriate officer instruction or physical conditions, the results should be inapplicable. Likewise, a chemical test must be performed correctly and the equipment must be demonstrably sound or the results will be rendered invalid.
Beating either method should provide a strong enough position by which to negotiate a favorable plea while beating both should result in dismissal.
The final way a DUI charge can be beaten is by challenging the probable cause for the traffic stop in the first place. This is called a suppression motion or hearing. During the hearing, you could challenge the validity or constitutionality of the stop. Any vehicle stop must meet certain factors. If the police cannot tell the court what factors they used, or cannot clearly identify the reasons for your stop, then the case should result in a dismissal. However, none of these are things you can hope to accomplish on your own.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.