Can a DUI Case Get Dismissed?

Updated on 08/09/2023 / Under

It is possible to get your DUI case dismissed. This is great news because the DUI conviction won’t be on your record. Beating a DUI can be possible under certain circumstances even if you believed you were sober enough to drive, the officer made a mistake, or the chemical test instrument’s result (known as the “breathalyzer”) was inaccurate.

Regardless of what your circumstances are, there are several ways your attorney may be able to help get your DUI case dismissed. Every DUI case is different and no guarantees are made but below are a few common reasons a case can be dismissed.

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Contact us immediately so one of our experienced Chicago criminal defense attorneys can take a look at your case and do what’s necessary to get it dismissed!

Was I Stopped for a Valid Reason?

To legally get pulled over for a traffic stop, a police officer must have reasonable suspicion a crime has been committed even if it is a minor traffic violation. A broken taillight, speeding, weaving, and erratic driving are all considered to be reasonable suspicions an officer can see.

Any evidence collected from an unlawful traffic stop can be thrown out under the Fourth Amendment. Examples of this type of evidence include chemical tests, field sobriety tests, and even words spoken to the officer. This will happen if an officer doesn’t have the basis for reasonable suspicion.

Related: DUI Checkpoint Laws

A real-life example could be you getting pulled over for driving by a college bar that hosts a weekly beer bust, but not committing any traffic violations. The officer doesn’t have a valid reason to stop you and anything that happens as a result likely won’t be allowed into evidence. This could include objective signs of intoxication like slurred speech, red eyes, or unsteady gait. Before your trial begins, your attorney will be able to challenge your case by bringing a pretrial motion to exclude the unlawfully obtained evidence.

Can a Field Sobriety Test Be Challenged?

If the field sobriety tests (FSTs) are not valid, this can be another way your DUI charges can be dismissed. Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), the walk and turn test (WAT), and the one-leg stand (OLS) are the three main tests that officers use in the field to determine if a driver is too impaired to drive. Human error can play a part in administering these tests but they are relatively accurate in detecting drivers under the influence. Our DUI lawyers may be able to challenge the tests in the following ways:

  • Were the tests given in poorly lit conditions or on the uneven pavement?
  • Was the driver wearing improper shoes such as high heels or sandals?
  • Did the officer fail to properly explain the test instructions?

The HGN tests look for involuntary eye movement shown when intoxicated. Medical conditions or medications can mimic the involuntary eye movement that is similar to those when impaired by alcohol. Before trial or during the trial on cross-examination of the officer, your attorney can challenge the accuracy of these tests.

Can you get a DUI case dismissed?

Chemical Test Results

The accuracy of your test results can be contested with a urine, breath, or blood test. One of the key areas your attorney may be able to challenge a Breathalyzer test is if it was properly maintained and calibrated. It is important to know if the paramedic was trained and if the draw was administered properly when it comes to a blood draw. An inaccurate result can also occur if the blood sample was contaminated or stored improperly. Your criminal defense lawyer will know how to question all of those tests and conditions.

Your blood or breath alcohol results (BAC) can be thrown out or called into question but there are only a few possible ways this can be done. Either one will weaken the prosecution’s case against you.

You Were Not the Driver

There are times where the prosecution may not be able to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that you were the driver. This defense is more fact-specific and less technical and is typically seen with a single-vehicle accident. This argument is made when the police arrive at the scene and no one saw who was driving and there are passengers in the car.

If the car isn’t registered to the driver or the defendant does not make any admissions of driving the car, it helps this argument. If law enforcement finds an intoxicated person in a parked vehicle, this defense can be a viable option.

The prosecutor’s job is to prove you were driving and were intoxicated while driving. The question becomes “who was driving,” but can extend beyond to “when was the person driving?” Was he or she under the influence at the time of driving or can the time of driving not be determined?

Related: What to Expect After a First DUI

Is it possible to get my DUI dismissed? It is a possibility, but a skilled attorney with DUI experience will be able to advise you on that. A legal professional can look through your case to determine if there are any constitutional violations or errors on the police officer’s end. Results are never guaranteed but consider speaking with one of our experienced local DUI attorneys today.