Mitigating Factors That Could Help A Defendant Avoid A DUI Conviction


Many people charged with driving under the influence of alcohol simply deal with the fallout. They know they made a serious mistake and accept the consequences.

Others, however, have crucial reasons to avoid conviction. For instance, a person who drives for a living and knows the company would terminate employment wants to fight the charges. Many companies have this policy even if the employee was not on the job. A DUI attorney provides legal representation with the goal of having the charges dropped or the case dismissed.

Mitigating Factors

One method a lawyer uses is presenting mitigating factors to the prosecuting attorney and the judge assigned to the case. Some of these are characteristics indicate that the DUI is a fluke and highly unlikely to happen again. Other considerations would include the blood alcohol content and what the defendant was actually doing before the arrest. 

A Clean Driving Record

One of the most important factors is having a clean driving record before this incident. It's unlikely that the charges or case would be dismissed if there has been a previous DUI conviction. Law enforcement takes repeat DUI offenders very seriously. Their behavior is dangerous, and they do not seem to learn from the previous consequences.

Ideally, the defendant would not have received citations for moving violations in several years or ever. 

Blood Alcohol Content

Relatively low blood alcohol content is essential in the goal of ending the case without a conviction. Nationwide, the illegal BAC level for driving is .08 percent and above. If the person's BAC was at or near that level, the chances of success increase. The driver might have been stopped not for erratic behavior but for a vehicle issue like a burned-out taillight. Sometimes drivers are arrested even if their BAC is lower than .08.

The Arrest

Police officers are allowed to arrest intoxicated individuals seated behind the wheel and not driving. The vehicle could even be turned off and the key not in the ignition. However, the person must have the key or key fob in the automobile for the arrest to be valid. Otherwise, there is no evidence the defendant actually planned to drive. The officer could have approached this individual if he or she was acting disoriented or sleeping in a parking space. The district attorney or judge might decide on leniency.

A person who needs professional help after an arrest for DUI may contact an attorney providing representation in these cases.


1 March 2021

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