Anytime a person is charged with a DUI the goal when a DUI Attorney is retained should be to try and get the charge dismissed. However this is very rare to do through negotiation. So the next goal should be to try and get the DUI charge reduced to a lesser offense.

The best way to convince the Prosecutor to reduce a DUI charge is if there is some legal issue that exists in the case. This is why its important to thoroughly investigate and research the DUI case. For example if the arresting officer didn't have a lawful basis to stop the driver, or if there were insufficient facts to support probable cause to arrest, or if the breath or blood test was not administered correctly or it wasn't entirely accurate than those are legal issues that need to be raised with the Prosecution.

Another helpful thing to do is present any mitigating circumstances that the Prosecutor may not know about the defendant. If the defendant has never been in trouble before, mention that. If the defendant is an upstanding member of the community, they have a family, a stable job, mention that.

Often times I will have my client get an alcohol and drug assessment prior to the resolution of the case. I like to present these to the Prosecution (with my clients permission of course) to show they don't have any issues with alcohol or drugs. Obviously a Prosecutor doesn't want to offer a reduction in charges if they think the defendant is going to get in trouble again.

Typically what I do is schedule a time to speak with the Prosecutor. I then sit down and tell them all the legal issues I have uncovered. Explain to them what I think will happen if the case proceeds to a jury trial. I also tell them about my client and present the alcohol and drug assessment to show the DUI arrest was an isolated incident, and they are not likely to reoffend.

Every case is going to be different. Different facts, didn't clients, and different Prosecutors. Just because one case got a reduction doesn't necessarily mean a similarly situated case will get reduced. So often times a DUI Attorney needs to be creative when negotiating with the Prosecution. Some times my clients will agree to do community service, or pay a larger fine, or agree to do some extra AA meetings. Whatever it takes to get the charge reduced.

Now sometimes this won't happen, that is just a fact of practicing in DUI defense. But if everything has been done, every avenue has been explored then the client needs to make a judgment call about what to do. Whether talking the DUI charge or litigating the case in trial. And that's a whole other article.

Matthew Leyba is a DUI Attorney in Seattle, WA. His practice focuses exclusively on DUI defense and other serious traffic offenses. He also maintains a Seattle DUI Defense blog where he discusses everything DUI related, including news, information, and cases


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