Is it possible to get a reduced charge and avoid a DUI on my record? This is a question I hear often and the answer is YES, if your case is handled the right way. There are no laws that prohibit prosecutors in your case from using their discretion and negotiating with defense attorneys to resolve your case. Typically, once all of the evidence in your DUI case has been obtained, negotiations with the prosecutor begin. Depending on the strengths and weaknesses of your case, prosecutors and defense attorneys typically go back and forth, with the state usually wanting the toughest plea bargain they can negotiate and your attorney asking for charges to be reduced or even dropped. While a full dismissal is very rare in DUI cases, where there is even some evidence of intoxication, reduced pleas are obtainable. The benefit to a possible reduced plea is two fold. (1) It is a guaranteed way to keep a DUI charge from staying on your criminal record forever, and (2) it saves you the cost, expense, and stress (for many) associated with long court hearings and even trial.
A DUI Charge Reduced to Reckless Driving
A Reckless Driving charge in Georgia is defined as “driving with a reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property”. The language and scope of Georgia’s reckless driving charge is very broad and open to interpretation, making it an ideal reduced charge in a DUI case. Reckless Driving in Georgia is a four point traffic offense, with the same effect as a 24 mph speeding ticket on your driving record. The benefit of a Reckless Driving plea is obvious- insurance, employers, schools and the like will only see a relatively minor traffic citation on your Georgia criminal and driving record. While a Reckless Driving outcome is ideal in your DUI case, it is not a common occurrence or “automatic”. Remember, prosecutors’ jobs depend on conviction rates and being ‘tough on crime’. Your attorney must be ready to investigate, advocate, and negotiate relentlessly on your behalf in an effort to obtain a reduced plea in your case.
DUI Charges Dismissed
While a Reckless Driving plea is usually a negotiated resolution, having DUI charges dismissed almost always involves winning a hearing or trial and having the judge dismiss the DUI. On all of our cases, we file various motions with the court, including motions to dismiss your case for lack of probable cause, officer error, and the limitations on any breath or blood tests you took. If a Judge rules in our favor on one of these motions, it can lead to a dismissal of your DUI charges, even if the prosecutor does not agree to negotiate on your case. Generally, after we obtain all evidence through discovery with the prosecutor’s office, we will be in a position to evaluate our chances of success and best arguments going forward into motions and hearings.
Call Me to Discuss Having Your DUI Reduced or Dismissed
If you have been charged with DUI in the State of Georgia, and want to explore the likelihood that your case could end with a reduced plea, call me and I will be happy to examine your case and speak with you about your best defense options. I will also cover our options for fighting your case in court, including motions and hearings. I can be reached directly at (404) 590-6642 or through my contact form throughout this website.