How likely is it that my first DUI charge will be dismissed?
When you are facing a DUI charge in Pennsylvania as a first offense, you might wonder whether you have a good chance of getting the charge against you dismissed. Your ability to get a dismissal will depend on the facts and circumstances and how quickly you can establish a strong defense against any test results or identify problems with how the police conducted their investigation of you.
Facing DUI charges is serious. Many people who are charged with first-offense DUIs do not fully understand how serious they are until after they are convicted. Since the facts and circumstances vary from case to case, a criminal defense lawyer at DiCindio Law cannot give you an exact percentage of your chance of beating your first DUI charge and keeping your license until he has the chance to review the reports and evidence against you.
While a DUI lawyer in Chester County cannot guarantee the outcome of your DUI case, you should keep in mind that it is not impossible to win a criminal case. Working with an experienced defense attorney can increase your chances of winning a dismissal and avoiding the penalties you might otherwise face.
Defenses to DUI charges
Many people facing DUI charges as first offenses think that being charged means that they will be found guilty. Some of them enter quick guilty pleas when they might have beaten their charges with the help of a defense attorney. The defenses that might be available will depend on the facts of what happened. Some of the potential defenses include the following:
- The officer did not have reasonable suspicion to support your stop.
- The officer administered the standardized field sobriety tests incorrectly.
- Results from a breath test were inaccurate because of various issues.
- There are problems with the chain of custody for your urine or blood sample.
- Your blood test results are inaccurate because of storage problems or processing errors.
- The officer did not have probable cause to search you or your vehicle or to arrest you.
- You have witnesses who can testify that you were not intoxicated.
- You were not observed for 20 minutes before the breath test was administered.
Many other defenses might be available to you, depending on the facts of your case. Your attorney can review the evidence and discuss the options that might be available in your case.
Will entering a guilty plea to a first DUI offense give me a better chance of a lighter sentence?
It is generally not a good idea to plead guilty to a first DUI offense without talking to an attorney. Pennsylvania has a three-tiered sentencing structure for first-offense DUIs based on your blood alcohol concentration. If you plead guilty to the DUI, you will face the penalties provided by the law for people with your BAC level. An attorney might be able to secure a plea to a lesser offense or win an outright dismissal of the charges against you.
If your attorney believes that you are unlikely to beat your DUI if you go to trial, he or she can still try to negotiate the charge down to a lesser offense such as a traffic violation or reckless driving.
Your BAC is important in determining the possible outcome of your DUI charge. If your BAC was at or near to the legal limit, you might be able to challenge it, especially if there was no evidence of bad driving. Your attorney can also challenge the BAC results by reviewing how your test was administered, whether the machine was properly calibrated, or whether your blood sample was stored or transported improperly. If there were issues with these types of things, your attorney might be able to secure the dismissal of your DUI case.
If the officer did not have a reasonable suspicion to support the stop of your vehicle, your case could be thrown out. Police officers must have reasonable suspicion to believe that people have committed traffic offenses or crimes before they can pull them over. If the officer instead pulled you over based on a hunch, your appearance, or some other factor, the court might suppress the stop and all of the evidence collected against you. If this happens, the prosecutor would have no choice but to dismiss your case.
Get help from a DUI lawyer in Chester County
If you have been arrested for a first-offense DUI in Chester County, it is important for you to talk to an experienced DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. At DiCindio Law, we can discuss what happened and explain the defenses that you might be able to raise. Contact us today to schedule a consultation by calling us at 610-430-3535.