How Do You Get a DUI Dismissed in PA?
Although many individuals accused of DUI believe the system heavily favors the police and prosecution, the truth is there is a surprising percentage of DUI cases dismissed because of procedural flaws. Representation by a skilled criminal defense attorney PA with experience makes DUI cases dismissed and can help you navigate the often complicated criminal procedure in Pennsylvania.
Grounds for DUI Cases Dismissed
There are many reasons that a DUI case might be dismissed. Several of the more common are described below. The chances of getting DUI dismissed or reduced through negotiation or defense can be improved if one or more of these factors are involved in a case.
Lack of probable cause for a traffic stop
In order to administer an alcohol or drug test, a police officer must have probable cause to stop a motorist in the first place. The officer must believe that some offense is being committed.
If the police officer lacks probable cause to begin an investigation, any evidence gathered, including the alcohol or drug test, must be thrown out of the subsequent court proceedings. This will tend to lead to any charge being dismissed.
Inaccuracy of testing devices
Breath tests are the most common means to test suspects, although other methods are also available. Devices must be properly used and correctly and frequently calibrated. If they are not, the results are inaccurate and cannot be used as credible evidence for a conviction. Similarly, if the police officer giving the test is not properly trained or certified or if the police officer uses the test incorrectly, the results are flawed and cannot be admitted as evidence.
Subjective and inaccurate field sobriety tests
In addition to a blood or breath test, police officers often rely upon field sobriety tests to determine whether a suspect is legally intoxicated. These tests depend upon the performance of certain physical or mental tasks. A physically clumsy individual might fail such tests even when sober. An aggressive criminal defense attorney in PA might be able to have the results of such tests thrown out.
Medical or dietary conditions
Certain medical or dietary conditions can yield breath or blood alcohol results that mimic an excessively high level of alcohol in the system.
Medical conditions that can mimic high blood alcohol results include acid reflux, heartburn, and gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD. Diabetes can also affect a blood alcohol test’s accuracy.
Similarly, a low-carb diet changes the way the body digests food. In a low-carb diet, the body begins to undergo ketosis, which metabolizes ketones into alcohol. This alcohol can show up in a breath test.
Participation in the ARD Program
Successful completion of a treatment program through a DUI court can mitigate the effects of a DUI charge, even if the charge is not formally dismissed. The program, known as an “Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition,” requires participants to attend a 12.5-hour alcohol and drug safety program and to participate in drug or alcohol rehabilitation. You will still lose your license for 90 days and be subject to court supervision for six months, as well as having court fees and fines of anywhere from $300 to $5,000.
The ARD program is remarkably successful, however. Statistics from the Pennsylvania judicial system show that in the year 2020 alone, 338 individuals participated in the Pennsylvania DUI court system’s rehabilitation effort; of those, 276 completed the program successfully. This represents an 82% success rate.
Want a DUI Case Dismissed?
A skilled criminal defense attorney PA can work with you to review the evidence in a DUI and investigate the case thoroughly. The attorney will interview witnesses and examine the test results to determine their reliability. An attorney can also examine legal defenses like probable cause and can inquire into the conduct of the police officer making the stop.
The attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor concerning the level of the charges brought and make motions and defenses before the court. Finally, a criminal defense attorney can zealously represent your position before a judge and jury and mount an aggressive defense.
Suppose you find yourself facing a DUI charge, an experienced State College criminal defense lawyer. The attorneys in the firm of Engle, Kauffman, and VanHorn can provide you with efficient, professional representation. Contact us today for a consultation.