Attorney DeBruin represents clients from across lower Michigan.

Attorney DeBruin represents clients from across lower michigan.

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When Might a Prosecutor Drop OWI Charges?

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2018 | Alcohol Offenses, Criminal Defense, Firm News, OWI

It’s rare for a prosecutor to drop OWI charges. What’s more common is for the prosecutor to offer an agreement under which you plead guilty to a lesser offense such as reckless driving. But even these so-called “wet reckless” dispositions only occur in cases where some facts exist that weaken the prosecutor’s case, and where the suspect’s defense lawyer can successfully leverage these facts to obtain a good plea deal for the client. This is why it is essential for you to work with an experienced Michigan OWI lawyer if you get charged with drunk driving. Contact DeBruin Law PLLC today at 517-324-4303 to find out more about your case.

OWI Case Dismissals May Happen When the Authorities Make a Mistake

Drunk driving cases are relatively straightforward from the prosecutor’s perspective. If the arresting officer followed procedures and collected credible evidence of intoxication, the prosecutor can safely charge the suspect with Operating While Intoxicated (OWI). But it’s always possible for prosecutors to overlook details that an astute defense attorney might be able to find:

Illegal Traffic Stop

If the police don’t have a legal justification for pulling you over in the first place, none of the evidence from the traffic stop may be used against you. So, in cases where your lawyer shows that the police did not have a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing when they pulled you over, the prosecutor may drop your charges and your case might get dismissed.

Unlawful Arrest

Similar to a traffic stop, an arrest can only take place once the officer’s observations have given them probable cause that you have committed drugged or drunk driving. If your lawyer can demonstrate that your appearance and conduct during the traffic stop did not warrant the officer’s conclusion that you were intoxicated, a prosecutor may be forced to withdraw the charges against you.

Infringement of Your Rights

If the police did not read your Miranda rights upon arresting you, used excessive force, or denied you the opportunity to call an attorney, your rights may have been infringed. If your lawyer can show that your rights were violated, your case may get dismissed.

Improper Search

In some OWI cases, the prosecutor may use as evidence the drugs or alcohol found in a search of your car. But, if the police didn’t have the proper authority to search your vehicle, that evidence may remove your case from court.

Improper BAC Testing

The prosecutor usually relies on the results of a blood alcohol content (BAC) testing machine to prove that you were intoxicated. In some cases, there may be evidence that the machine was faulty, or that your blood or urine sample was not collected according to procedure. If substantiated, these facts could invalidate your BAC test results and pave the way for the dismissal of your case.

Absent these types of scenarios, it’s unlikely that your OWI case will end in a dismissal. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t win your case. You and your legal team can take your case to trial and obtain an acquittal if there are facts in your case that make the investment worthwhile.

There Are Other Beneficial Case Resolutions Besides a Dismissal

Of course, everyone wants to take their case to trial and prove their innocence. But in practice, most criminal defendants take an alternative course of action. Depending on the facts and circumstances specific to your case, your lawyer may be able to obtain the following outcomes for you:

  • Plea bargain – Your lawyer can leverage the facts that are beneficial to your side of the story to convince the prosecutor to charge you with a less serious crime, such as reckless driving. This is a popular way of resolving first offense OWI cases without aggravating factors.
  • Alternatives to jail – f you plead guilty to OWI, it’s possible to negotiate a lenient sentence, which might include probation, delayed sentencing, or community service instead of jail time.
  • Sobriety court – For certain alcohol offenders, the Lansing Sobriety Court may be the best path to resolving an OWI offense. The program is designed to emphasize treatment over punishment, with the long term goal of solving your substance abuse issues and getting your life back on track.

If You Have DUI Charges, Call an Attorney Today

The case outcome you eventually achieve depends on the facts surrounding your case and your defense lawyer’s ability to use these facts to your advantage. Positive case outcomes usually occur in cases where the defendant avoids speaking to the police and retains legal counsel at the earliest opportunity. If you have been arrested or charged with drunk driving, call DeBruin Law PLLC today at  517-324-4303 for a free consultation with a Lansing DUI Lawyer. You can also contact us online for fast service.