One of the most common tests police officers use during traffic stops is a breathalyzer, and police will do this if they suspect that a person is under the influence of alcohol. When this happens, you have nothing to worry about if the test comes back with a 0.08 blood-alcohol content (BAC) level because this is the limit in most states. However, you can be arrested on the spot if you register above this. If you are only slightly above this legal limit, there is a chance you could get the charge dropped or reduced. Here are several things to understand about this if you are facing a DUI charge.
The Court May Drop It If You Have Certain Types of Evidence
The first thing you should know is that police officers must follow certain protocols during traffic stops and when making people complete field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests. If the officer that pulled you over and completed these things did not do something that he or she legally was supposed to do, the court may simply drop the case. For example, if there is no evidence that you were doing anything wrong when the officer pulled you over, this might be reason enough for the court to drop the charge. Another example is if the officer waited too long to give you a breathalyzer. If you are not sure if you have any evidence or reasons for this, talk to a DUI lawyer about it.
The Court May Reduce the Charge
Having a DUI on your record is not a good thing for many reasons. One reason is that it can often be classified as a felony crime, and one of the punishments of a DUI is a loss of driving privileges. Fortunately, courts are somewhat lenient with people when it comes to a first offense, and courts are also in the business of offering plea deals to help settle crime charges faster and easier.
If this is your first DUI charge, you should realize that the court might offer you a plea deal that lets you get by with the charge being classified as a misdemeanor. The court might reduce the charge from a DUI to reckless driving or wet reckless driving. In either case, the punishments and consequences for these crimes are much less severe than those of a DUI charge that is a felony.
One factor that will affect the court's decision about reducing the charge is the nature of the crime and the details involved with it. If you barely failed the breathalyzer test, for example, the courts would likely be a lot more lenient than if you were really intoxicated and registered much higher than the legal limit. Secondly, courts will look at other people involved. If you were by yourself, the court is likely to be a lot more lenient than if you had passengers with you.
For people with prior DUI charges, the court is not going to be as willing to let another DUI slip through the cracks; however, you might still be able to get the charge reduced under the right circumstances.
You Need a Lawyer
No matter what the situation is with your DUI charge, you will need to hire a lawyer that offers DUI services. Lawyers with this experience know how to get the best results from cases, and your lawyer will begin by investigating the traffic stop that led to the DUI. From there, the lawyer might find enough evidence to get the court to dismiss the case, but if not, the lawyer will aim to help you get the charge reduced.