How Can I Get My Oklahoma DUI Dismissed?
When you’ve been arrested for DUI, a lot of scenarios and “what ifs” run through your mind. You’re probably thinking about what happens after your DUI—including in your legal case. There are a lot of possible outcomes, but getting your DUI dismissed is one of the best options. In this article, we’ll go over all the details, including how to get a DUI dismissed, when it’s possible, and what to do next.
What Is a Motion to Dismiss?
A motion to dismiss is a formal request that needs to be filed with the court to get the DUI charges against you dropped. If your attorney doesn’t believe the state has a strong case against you, they’ll file a motion to dismiss.
The motion will include evidence about weaknesses in the state’s case. A judge will review the motion to dismiss and make a ruling either for or against it. If they rule in your favor, your DUI will be dismissed! If they rule against you, your case will proceed through the courts.
Reasons to Get a DUI Dismissed
You can typically get a DUI dismissed if the state didn’t follow the proper protocol during your arrest or if your case doesn’t have enough evidence to prosecute. Here are some of the most common arguments to dismiss a DUI.
There Was No Reason for the Traffic Stop
An officer needs “probable cause” to justify a traffic stop, which means they must believe you’re committing a crime. If they didn’t have enough reason to stop your car in the first place, everything that results from that traffic stop can’t be used in court. Arguing there was no justification isn’t as common as you might think, because any violation of state law or city ordinance, even very minor ones, can be considered probable cause. This includes traffic offenses you may not even know about, like having an air freshener hanging from your rear-view mirror.
There Was No Reason for the Sobriety Test
The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects you from “unreasonable search and seizure.” During a DUI stop, this includes a search of your body and the “seizure” of your blood or breath for testing without probable cause. So, just like when they pull you over, law enforcement needs a reason to give you a field sobriety test or ask you to take a breathalyzer, like seeing your eyes are bloodshot or smelling alcohol on your breath. This makes the search and seizure “reasonable” in the eyes of the law.
The Officer Did Not Follow Proper Protocol
The Oklahoma Board of Tests has put rules in place to ensure that evidence an officer collects during your DUI arrest is accurate and admissible in court, including:
- The officer must hold a Breath Alcohol Operator Permit.
- The officer must monitor you for 15 minutes prior to giving the test to make sure you don’t eat or drink anything.
- The officer must check that you don’t have anything in your mouth.
- The breathalyzer must be properly maintained and calibrated.
- Only licensed doctors and certain nurses can take a blood sample.
- The blood sample needs to be properly handled, recorded, and tracked as it goes through the system.
Many people aren’t aware there are so many rules in place for giving a breathalyzer or blood test during a traffic stop. Yet for those wondering how to get a DUI dismissed, those rules can make all the difference.
What Won’t Get Your DUI Case Dismissed
There are also some common scenarios you might think will get a DUI dismissed, but actually aren’t a strong enough reason.
Failure to Read Your Miranda Rights
The officer is only required to read your Miranda Rights if they interrogate you and the state wants to use those statements against you. If the officer didn’t read you your Miranda Rights, but you also didn’t make any statements, your case won’t be affected.
Aggressive Officer Behavior
Even if the arresting officer was aggressive with you, and possibly more aggressive than what is appropriate, that doesn’t mean your case will be dismissed. If this aggression didn’t have any effect on the evidence—meaning they didn’t intimidate you or force you to take a breath or blood test—it won’t affect your case.
Refusing to Take the Breathalyzer
In Oklahoma, implied consent laws mean that when you obtain a driver license in the state, you automatically consent to taking a breathalyzer or blood test if an officer has probable cause to give you one. Although the officer can’t force you to take the test, if you refuse, your license will automatically be suspended, and you might also face harsher penalties. It’s also much more difficult to get an Oklahoma DUI dismissed if you refused the test.
What Are My Chances of Getting a DUI Dismissed?
It isn’t easy to get a DUI dismissed in Oklahoma, and it isn’t an option in every case. An experienced attorney will know how to get a DUI dismissed, whether it’s an option for you, and what other options you might have, including:
- A deferred sentence, which means that while you technically plead guilty, your case is dismissed and partially expunged once you’ve completed your probation. Deferred sentences are more likely for first-time offenders with no criminal history.
- Reducing the charges, for example, to a charge of reckless driving or driving while impaired (DWI). You’ll still have to plead guilty to the reduced charge, so while your case won’t be dismissed, you will usually get a lighter punishment than you would for DUI.
The Bottom Line
A DUI is a serious charge: When you drive under the influence, you put yourself and others in danger. An expert DUI attorney who understands how to get a DUI dismissed can help increase your chances, especially if this is your first offense. Get a free case evaluation from the Tulsa DUI Guy today to see if this could be an option for you.