Can You Get DUI Charges Dropped?

If you’ve got a DUI, either through a legitimate offense or due to what you feel was an unfair situation, you might be wondering if you can get DUI charges dropped from your record.

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It is possible, though often very difficult, for DUI charges to dropped against an accused offender. Having charges dropped requires solid evidence and strong legal arguments. Even if you find a so-called “loophole” in the law, don’t expect that to necessarily carry you to freedom, especially if your blood alcohol content is over .08%.

What is Your Basis?

The first factor to consider is whether your DUI charge was genuinely valid in terms of you being in an intoxicated state while driving.

If a DUI was a misunderstanding – for example, an equipment malfunction, or some other type of mishap that produced the wrong outcome, your best bet in getting your charges dropped will be getting a lawyer and directly pursuing the solid evidence of the case. That’s the quickest route to clearing your name.

If, on the other hand, you were indeed in an intoxicated state but you have reasons for wanting the charge dropped from your record, then you’re going to have to find some other way to have the charge nullified. On some occasions, the following basis may prove sufficient:

  • if you suspect discriminatory or other conditions were behind your stop, this may be your basis for clearing the charge (An officer must have a valid reason to stop a car and test the driver);
  • Was the arrest done by the book?  Were you read your rights, given breathalyzer tests using functioning equipment, and taken into custody according to standard rules? If not, any deviations from the normal could be a violation of your rights that provide a basis for dropping or modifying the charges.
  • Did the trial proceed as it should have? Were you given access to a defense lawyer, and did the trial take place within the required time period? Any delays or unusual processes during the trial might be enough to render the charge invalid.

Here’s some more information on contesting charges:

Getting Help

Getting a DUI dropped isn’t easy – nor should it be. For such a serious crime, it makes sense that only a genuine mistake or violation of your rights would be enough to get it removed from your background record. However, if you did experience a mistake or violation, then you can and should look into ways to get the DUI removed, so it won’t haunt you for several years into the future. Getting the help of an experienced DUI lawyer can also make it easier for you to get charges dropped, so it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after your DUI arrest. 

DUI & DWI Laws in Your State - A drunk driving charge carries serious penalties including the possibility of jail time, license suspension (or revocation), and significant fines. These penalties vary by state. Get detailed state-by-state information about the penalties for a first, second, and third DUI.

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