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How To Reduce Or Avoid A DUI Sentence



If you are charged with DUI, there are still several ways your attorney can reduce or avoid a DUI sentence for you. Here are some of the most common:

  1. Dismissal - This is the home run of DUI defense. Your case can be dismissed in several ways:
    • First, the prosecutor can agree to dismiss your case voluntarily. This usually happens because he or she does not believe sufficient evidence exists to win at trial.
    • If the prosecutor thinks there is sufficient evidence, the case can still be dismissed short of trial by a motion to dismiss, filed by your attorney. The motion can be based on insufficient evidence, violation of your constitutional rights or several other legal grounds. A judge will read written briefs from both sides and decide without a jury.
    • If the case goes to trial, either a judge or a jury can dismiss the case after evidence has been submitted.
  2. Plea-bargain - In this situation, your attorney and the prosecutor come to an agreement on you entering a guilty plea to a lesser charge in exchange for the dismissal of the case. The charge is usually one like negligent or reckless driving. The stronger your defense, the better chance you have at getting an acceptable plea-bargain.
  3. Alternative disposition systems - Many states have special programs for first-time DUI offenders that allow for a quicker disposition of the case, lower fines, shorter or no license revocations, and no criminal conviction of DUI. The prosecutor must agree to place your case in this alternative disposition system.

    Make sure you discuss all of these alternatives with your attorney, so that you understand the potential risks of each.