How Do I Get My DUI Case Dismissed?

Barnwell Law, PLLC

Is it possible to get a DUI dismissed in Macomb County or anywhere else in Michigan?

It is, but don’t let a lot of lawyer and attorney websites fool you. Getting a flat out dismissal is the exception, not the rule to a DUI, OWI, OUIL and drunk driving case. These things happen, but they don’t happen often, and they require a lot of skill and experience. Few attorneys have actually accomplished it, but Barnwell Law has. Read below how to get a DUI case dismissed.

If you are facing a DUI in Warren, Macomb County, Roseville, Troy, Detroit, or anywhere else in Michigan there are a couple different ways to get a drunk driving case dismissed:

  • Challenge the police stop of the vehicle
  • Challenge the sufficiency of the evidence after your car was pulled over
  • Win the case in a bench or jury trial with a Not Guilty verdict.

DUI Challenge to Police Stop of Your Vehicle

Let’s start with challenging the stop. To make a traffic stop for a DUI or any other reason police have to witness a violation of traffic law or have “reasonable suspicion” of a crime to pull your car over. A violation of traffic law can be things such as speeding, running a red light, making an illegal turn, even a taillight that is out without your knowledge. If police see one of these things, they can pull your car over. Once the car is pulled over, often an officer will immediately suspect you have been drinking and begin asking how much you’ve had to drink.

This is why it is important to get dashcam video of the police stop of your vehicle in a DUI case. Sometimes, unfortunately, the video of the stop is not very clear. Other times it is very clear. If an officer says in their video that the only reason your car was stopped was because you were “weaving in lane” but the video shows something different, that can be a reason to challenge the stop. The more nebulous the officer’s reason is for stopping your car, the better the challenge will be in a pretrial motion. A pretrial motion in this type of case would be to suppress the stop. And if the stop is suppressed because it was unlawful, it therefore makes all the resulting fruits of the stop unlawful, even if you were in fact intoxicated.

Many people complain this is “getting off on a technicality.” But abiding by the 4th Amendment of the US and State constitutions is not a “technicality.” It is making sure the police have followed the law. And if they don’t follow the law, then your case can be dismissed. Barnwell Law recently obtained a dismissal from a prosecutor after the police dashcam claimed a client’s car was “weaving in the lane” and the video showed the car driving in a near perfect straight line.

DUI Breath Test and Roadside Evidence Challenges

Another way to get a DUI case dismissed in Macomb County and elsewhere is to challenge the evidence once the police stop your car. If you’re ever suspected of a DUI or drunk driving and the police pull over your vehicle, remember the phrase “Don’t walk, don’t talk, don’t blow.” All you are legally obligated to do is to present your identification and step out of the vehicle if ordered to do so. The police can’t make you do tests on the side of the road. Nor can they force you to blow into a PBT on the side of the road.

However, maybe you’ve read this page after you’ve already been arrested. While you can’t undo the past, a skilled DUI attorney can review the evidence. Once again, video can be crucial for cases that have good police bodycam or dashcam. The police will argue in nearly every police report that every single suspect failed the field sobriety tests (SFST’s). Yet, most police have had very, very minimal training on how to properly administer and interpret these tests. This can go a long way in a pretrial motion to suppress evidence or at trial. Sometimes the evidence and video is clear that somebody failed the tests. Other times, the evidence is not so clear and can be challenged.

This also includes challenging the blood or breath tests that police collect to demonstrate that you were over the legal limit of .08. The “Datamaster” breath machine at police stations is currently being phased out throughout Michigan. It is being replaced by the Intoxilyzer 9000. Police have minimal training on both of these devices. The machines must be properly calibrated or they can have readings that question their accuracy. Even blood draws, which are more accurate than breath tests, can face questions about chain of custody, proper procedure, and even accuracy in rare cases. In one DUI case, William Barnwell of Barnwell law was able to get a case dismissed before trial when a judge rules much of the evidence inadmissible.

DUI Trial

Another way to beat an OWI case is to go to a full-blown trial and get a Not Guilty verdict. Under the constitution, a person is entitled to a trial by a jury of their peers. In a misdemeanor trial, there will be six jurors who decide whether or not someone is guilty or not guilty. If it is a felony DUI case or any other type of felony, there will be a jury of twelve individuals. A jury verdict must be unanimous. That means if there is even one holdout, the judge will declare a mistrial. If there is a mistrial there is no conviction. It will then be up to the prosecutor whether they want to retry the case.

Barnwell Law is one of the rare DUI attorneys who has taken a drunk driving case to trial and won. Very few DUI and OWI cases go to trial. Even fewer get Not Guilty verdicts. William Barnwell of Barnwell Law has even won acquittals on 2nd Offense DUI cases. A Not Guilty verdict can be won by challenging whether a driver really was over the legal limit, whether the offer really had a basis to believe they were impaired if they were under the legal limit, and whether the person charged was actually driving while they were intoxicated. Sometimes police make contact with a vehicle minutes or even hours after they were actually driving and didn’t witness who the driver was, or when this person was driving.

Win Your Detroit, Michigan, and Macomb County Case

The above contains only a sample of defenses that can be used in a DUI or OWI case. Where other attorneys are quick to just go for a plea bargain, Bill Barnwell will carefully evaluate your case to determine if a plea is really in your interest, or whether your case is suitable for trial.

While difficult and requiring great skill, Barnwell Law has a history of results in getting DUI, OWI, and drunk driving cases dismissed. Call Barnwell Law today at (810) 394-2952 to begin your DUI defense.

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