When people talk about getting a drunk driving case thrown out, they are likely discussing the case being dismissed. Like an acquittal that is issued after a verdict of not guilty at trial, a case dismissal means that you are cleared of any wrongdoing. But the benefit of a case dismissal is that you can avoid the cost and inconvenience of a trial. From this perspective, obtaining a case dismissal is an optimal outcome for your Houston DWI case.
There are several paths to a case dismissal. But they all have one thing in common: the suspect hires a skilled Houston DWI lawyer to work on their case soon after their arrest. This means that if you’ve been charged with drunk driving, you need to contact an attorney as soon as possible. To schedule a free and confidential case consultation at The Law Offices of Ned Barnett, contact us today at (713) 222-6767.
How Can I Get My Drunk Driving Case Dismissed?
In general, your criminal defense lawyer will ask the judge to dismiss the case by arguing that the prosecutor does not have enough evidence to justify going through a trial. In a DWI case, you will be in a position to request a case dismissal after blocking the prosecution’s evidence against you. If the judge agrees that it is not worthwhile to go to trial, they will dismiss the case. The prosecutor may also voluntarily withdraw the charges against you, but this is exceedingly rare.
Therefore, the first step in obtaining a case dismissal is fighting the prosecution’s evidence. To do so, your lawyer must file what is called a motion to suppress, in which they will argue that the prosecutor’s evidence should not be allowed into your trial. In the context of a DWI case, evidence is commonly suppressed because it was obtained in violation of your Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Your Fourth Amendment Rights may have been violated under any of the following circumstances:
Law enforcement had reason to pull you over.
The police cannot stop your vehicle on the hunch that you are drunk driving. They must have observed you driving erratically or breaking the law. One exception to this rule is that the police are allowed to set up DWI checkpoints where they check every vehicle that passes through. But even in these cases, the checkpoint is open to scrutiny.
The police had a lack of probable cause to arrest you.
Once you have been temporarily detained at the roadside, the officer must make a judgment: do you appear to be inebriated? If there is a reasonable basis for making this judgement, they can legally arrest you. But in many cases, the police’s observations are not sufficient to justify an arrest.
There are issues with your breath or blood test.
After your arrest, the police will give you a blood or breath test to obtain an official record of your blood alcohol content (BAC). These tests can be invalidated for many reasons, whether it’s the improper calibration of the machine or the mishandling of your blood sample. Your Houston DWI lawyer will request all relevant information about the test you were given to ensure that there were no irregularities.
These are the most common reasons we request the suppression of the prosecution’s evidence in a DWI case. But there could be many other reasons. Don’t plead guilty to your DWI charges before an experienced lawyer has taken the time to review the facts of your case. You may be in a position to make a motion to suppress and then request the dismissal of your case.
For Help With Your Houston DWI Case, Contact Us Today
If the arguments your defense team raises in favor of a case dismissal do not persuade the judge to drop your charges, the same points can be raised again at trial. If these arguments demonstrate to the judge or jury that there is a reasonable doubt as to whether you committed a drunk driving offense, your case could result in a verdict of not guilty, and an acquittal of your charges. Gathering evidence and formulating strong arguments can take time, so you should hire an attorney at the earliest opportunity.