Dismissals are great, but the exception, not the rule.
We love dismissals and not guilty verdicts on our DUI cases! They make both us, and our clients very happy. However, these are more than the exception than the the rule.
We have found most Washington state law enforcement officers to be well trained on how to conduct a lawful DUI arrest. However, they are all human and make mistakes. Thus, cases can be dismissed for a variety of reasons. Maybe there was not probable cause for police officer to stop you. Maybe there was not probable cause to arrest.
We will talk to you about what happened on the night of arrest and review the police officer's report to see if there is anything that would require the judge to dismiss the case against you.
In the rare event that a case is dismissed, it is often because the police officer did something seriously wrong, like pull over a vehicle with a lawful reason. Washington state DUIs are not like traffic infractions, they do not get dismissed for very minor technicalities.
When there is a legal problem with the case the prosecutor will often make an offer to reduce to the charges from DUI to something else, such as reckless or negligent driving first degree.
As the client you then have a difficult decision to make. Should you take the offer and minimize the risk? Or should you gamble and go to legal motions and hope that the judge agrees that the case should be dismissed? The hard part is that if you don't take the offer and the case is not dismissed by a judge at legal motions, the prosecutor generally takes the offer away and you are more likely to face a DUI conviction.
As your lawyer, we will help you make this hard decision of whether to take the offer, fight the case in court.
Not Guilty - the best two words in the English Language.
Not guilty verdicts are also wonderful - the are what keep us coming back to trial. They happen after the DUI judge or jury trial because the government has not been able to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. For a not guilty verdict to occur, either six members of a jury must find you not guilty, or the judge must find you not guilty. We have found that if a prosecutor believes that there is reasonable chance that you will be found not guilty, the prosecutor will make an offer to reduce the charges to reckless or negligent driving first degree. Again, you will have to make that hard decision about whether or not to take that offer, or roll the dice and go to trial. Yes, we will also help you make that decision and give you our opinion.