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Is It Possible to Reduce Your DUI Charge to a Lesser Offense?

Interviewer: How often do you get asked by people, “Can you get this DUI knocked down to reckless driving? Can you just get my case dismissed?” How often do you get asked that? Is that realistic at all?

Brian: Honestly, I think every client wants his or her case to be dismissed. They do not want to deal with the DUI. They don’t want to deal with the social ramifications of a DUI, and the punishment it entails. Potentially, people can face a very harsh punishment for any DUI conviction. It is possible.

Dismissing Your DUI Charge

Dismissal is less likely, but if you have the right attorney, if you have someone with experience who knows what they’re doing, it becomes more likely that a dismissal is a potential outcome in the case. It’s also possible to get evidence suppressed, which may ultimately result in a de facto dismissal. If the attorney is able to get all the evidence suppressed, there’s nothing for the prosecutor to go forward on, and all of a sudden the case goes away.

Reducing the DUI Charge Is More Likely If It Is a Misdemeanor Charge

Reducing it down to reckless driving, in a misdemeanor case, is definitely much more viable than with a felony case. The problem is that Arizona law says that a DUI is not supposed to be dismissed unless it is factually insufficient.

There are certain city courts that read that very strictly, and they will not give a reckless driving in lieu of a DUI in any situation. Phoenix is one of those courts. They will not give you a reckless driving. They would rather dismiss a case than plead out a reckless driving. In other cities, it is possible.

How Your Defense Attorney Works to Reduce the DUI Charge

There are a lot of factors to consider. Those include if there are any good legal issues in the case, any good factual issues in the case, depending on what the blood alcohol content is, occasionally, rarely, depending on the person himself. I’ve had situations representing police officers. Sometimes that can be a factor. This also applies for college students. One time I represented a man who had a very rare blood type and if he were to spend any time in custody, he would not be available to the scientific community to test his blood. There’s some medical issue where he was a rare asset to the scientific community and he would not be able to partake in that if he were incarcerated. So we were able to make sure that he was not incarcerated.

Interviewer: That’s an interesting defense. That’s very unusual.

Brian: There are different things that come up with each different client. Every case is unique. Every DUI is different. I’ve done probably 2,100 of them at this point. I’ve seen 2,100 police reports, and rarely are any of them exactly the same. You need someone who knows what they’re looking for and that focuses on DUI and can consider everything that’s in the police report, including the hidden details that other attorneys might miss.

Different Cities in Arizona Are Less or Not at All Likely to Reduce Your DUI Charge

Interviewer: So we talked about possibly reducing to reckless driving or getting the case dismissed, and I don’t want ask you which cities that’s most likely to happen, but how about which cities it’s least likely to happen? Can you say that? Have you seen that it’s rare? Like you said, Phoenix will never reduce a DUI to reckless. Are there any other cities that will never dismiss a case or never reduce?

Brian: Phoenix will never do it. The city of Phoenix, which is the largest city court, they refuse to do it. They read the law very strictly and will not reduce down a DUI to a reckless driving. All the other cities are open to it under the right legal and factual scenarios.

By Brian Douglas Sloan

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Why Brian Douglas Sloan?
AZ DUI Defense Lawyer Brian Douglas Sloan
  • 16+ Years SOLELY Focused on DUI Defense
  • Represented 3,700+ DUI Clients
    • Regular DUI
    • Extreme DUI
    • Super Extreme DUI
    • Drug/Medication DUI
  • Top One Percent in the Nation"
    National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • “Top 10 DUI Lawyers in Arizona”
    National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys
  • “10 Best Client Satisfaction Award”
    American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys
  • Superb “10 / 10” – AVVO.com
  • Preeminent “4.9 / 5.0” -- Martindale-Hubbell
  • “Southwest Rising Star” -- Super Lawyers
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