Can I have my DUI charge reduced? 64 Answers as of July 12, 2013

I was recently stopped for a DUI with a .08 alcohol level. Will I have the opportunity to have the charge reduced?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
LynchLaw
LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
Any offense can be reduced during settlement negotiations with the DA. Often DUI defendants with a BAC of 0.08 can plea out for what is referred to as a wet reckless. Look up Vehicle Code section 23103.5. Consult with a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/9/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
Perhaps. It often depends on the practice of the individual DA's office involved as well as your prior record if any. In addition, It depends on all the facts not just the alcohol level.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/9/2011
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
The D.A. is usually thinking about reducing that charge. It is almost a certainty with a good lawyer. We find that Tom Mueller is very helpful in those cases.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/8/2011
Berner Law Group, PLLC
Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
Your best bet is to hire an experienced and effective DUI attorney. If you're a Western Washington resident, feel free to contact my office for a free, no obligation consultation regarding your situation.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/8/2011
Deal & Hooks, LLC
Deal & Hooks, LLC | Shawn P. Hooks
You may have the chance to have the charge reduced in plea bargaining or if you have defenses available to you. You should consult an attorney who regularly handles these charges to discuss what your best strategy is and what the typical practice in your court is prior to any trial or pretrial hearings.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 6/8/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    You should hire an attorney to try to negotiate a favorable plea bargain to a lesser charge.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Multiple factors: timing, judge, prosecutor, and officer are the main ones. Also, your behavior with the cop is critical. It could certainly be reduced depending on those factors. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    Your best chance of getting a DUI reduced or dismissed or obtaining a not guilty verdict lie with having an experienced criminal defense attorney at your side.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 7/12/2013
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    CAN you?? Sure. WILL you?? Police and prosecutors don't take the time to research, prepare and file charges just to drop or reduce them. No attorney can predict the outcome, nor even give an intelligent opinion, without reviewing and knowing all the charges, evidence, reports, testimony, priors history, etc. However, effective plea-bargaining, using whatever legal defenses, facts and sympathies there may be, could possibly keep you out of jail, or at least dramatically reduce it, depending upon all the facts. Not exactly a do it yourself project in court for someone who does not know how to effectively represent himself against a professional prosecutor intending to convict. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion program, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help use whatever defenses there may be. Keep in mind a little free advice: When you are arrested for DUI, whether alcohol or drugs, then upon release from jail or booking you were given documents that included a notice that you have only ten days to file a request with DMV for a hearing on an appeal of an automatic one-year suspension of your license imposed by DMV. That is separate and runs consecutively with any suspension that may be imposed by the court. Contact DMV and do so, timely, then appear at your scheduled DMV hearing and present any supporting evidence and testimony. If you don't know how to do these things, then hire an attorney that does. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    With a BAT of .08, this meets the State Statutory requirement of a "per se" violation. As long a the test was performed properly, with the proper protocols followed, the State only has to prove you were operating or attempting to operate a MV within 2 hrs of the BAT, in the proper jurisdiction. If the State proves these elements, you could be convicted of a DUI. The choice to reduce the charges is solely in the discretion of the prosecutor.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    Some states do allow people to "plea bargain" DUI charges down to something less than a DUI or to a lesser degree of DUI (especially if the BAC is on the low end of the spectrum -like a .08). I practice in Oregon which does not by law allow a district attorney to plea bargain a DUI. If you're in Oregon, .08 or any other BAC is a DUI and can't be anything else.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    It is possible to get the charge reduced but you would need to provide more information before I would give a more definitive answer.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    It may be possible to negotiate a reduced or deferred sentence but this will all depend upon the specific details of your case. It is very important to consider consulting with an attorney before accepting any sort of plea deal since the long term consequences (i.e. your ability to have the conviction expunged from your record in the future) may not be obvious to someone without legal expertise. If you are seeking legal representation in this matter in Louisiana, we invite you to contact our firm at the information on this page for a free case evaluation.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    Yes in most courts a .08 can be reduced to a wet reckless.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/8/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    Yes. In Washington, if it is your first DUI, it should be reduced to negligent driving in the first degree.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    It is not uncommon for a prosecutors office to offer to reduce the offense to DWAI - some will even offer a deferred sentence so the charge is dismissed at the end of a time period.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    You need an attorney. You may have a defensible case and you need a skilled attorney. Do not go in and try to do it yourself.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Since you were just at legal limit, it is very possible, if you have an otherwise clean record, that the prosecuting attorney will offer you a reduced charged of impaired driving.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Offices of Carl Spector
    Law Offices of Carl Spector | Carl Spector
    In New York you may have a very good chance to get your case reduced to a driving while ability impaired with a reading of .08% BAC.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Could. See a DUI attorney for the process. You will not have that option, most likely, by yourself.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    If it's a first offense, then yes, you will most likely have the opportunity to have it reduced, especially if there are no aggravating aspects such as high speeding or an accident. Consult with an attorney right away for further information and assistance - it will be worth it to you in the long run. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Dearbonn Law Offices
    Dearbonn Law Offices | Ajibola Oluyemisi Oladapo
    You may have it reduced to negligent or reckless driving based on the facts and circumstances of your case.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Yes. If you have no prior DUIs, most prosecutors will offer a reduction of the charge to settle the case.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Michael Moody
    Law Office of Michael Moody | Michael Moody
    The state's own expert will admit that a breathalyzer can be off up to .01. At a .08 there may be a reduction if you retain a competent attorney. A lot of it will depend upon how the arrestee treated the arresting officer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    You were on the borderline for being under the influence. However, you were , by the law, under the influence. Getting the charge reduced is discretionary with the prosecutor. I would have to review the evidence to see how you did on the field sobriety tests, and take other matters into consideration. Get a lawyer to review this case and represent you in court, and yes, it is possible to get a reducer, but again, is up to the prosecutor.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You should retain an experienced criminal attorney who will plead the case to an impaired violation and you will get a $350 fine and a 90 day suspension of your license. You will not have a criminal conviction but your insurance may increase dramatically. Drunk driving is very dangerous and you are lucky you did not kill or cripple someone. Learn from this mistake and never get behind the wheel if you have been drinking, using drugs, or taking certain prescription drugs. Never have drugs in a car or allow others to have drugs in your car or you will be arrested for a serious crime and face a criminal record that can hurt your chances of getting a good job or career. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    There is no lesser included offense on a charge of DUI. There are possible resolutions for the charge other than conviction, such as a deferred prosecution (good behavior), if the court finds this appropriate and the officer is willing to recommend same.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman | Scott G. Hilderman
    Yes you can possibly have it reduced or even dismissed depending on the facts of your case. There are many ways to challenge a DUI offense especially with a .08 BAC. You should consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Whether a DWI charge is reduced often depends on the defenses available and how well those defenses are addressed to the prosecutor or the Court. A reduction of the criminal offense does little good unless you also prevail on the civil license revocation. Unde4r Minnesota law, A first offense with a blood alcohol level under .20 is usually a fourth degree offense. This is still serious and carries with it maximum criminal penalties of up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. If convicted any subsequent DWI offense would be much more serious and with four offenses in ten years, you can be charged with a felony. As a result, as strong defense on the first alleged incident can be critical to your future. Different Judges give different sentences. Accordingly, understanding your Judge and knowing how to change Judge's can be an important part of the process. There is also a civil case that results in the revocation of your driver's license. On a first offense over your lifetime, you may be revoked for 30 to 90 days. This is a separate case even though the challenges are largely the same. In order to challenge your license revocation, you must seek a judicial review by filing a petition within 30 days of the offense. Do not forget this critical time period. All too often people with strong defenses come to me too late to challenge the license revocation. The end result goes well beyond simply having your license revoked. A failure to challenge results in an Implied Consent violation on your record which can also affect employment and may be used to enhance any subsequent DWI offense. There are many challenges to a DWI. Officers must follow very specific steps as part of the arrest. If any one step is missing, the case may be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    Most prosecutors offer some sort of plea deal in order to resolve the case without resorting to trial. However, if you are .08 I would strongly encourage you retain an experienced DUI attorney because that is right on the limit which means the machine could be off or malfunctioning just a little which could get the charges reduced or dismissed. A good DUI attorney will more than pay for his services in what he can potentially save you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    In many cases, a first offense charge of Operating While Intoxicated in Michigan can be reduced to the charge of Operating While Impaired. The benefits of such a reduction include a reduction of points, restricted license for 90 days rather than the 30 days of no license followed by 150 days of a restricted license, and saving $1,000 in financial responsibility fees. Your best course of action is to hire an attorney who can discuss these differences with you, negotiate a plea with the prosecutor, and then you can consider the plea. Also, depending on the facts in your case, there may be a possibility of an even better result. If there is any inaccuracy in the breathalyzer, some delays, contamination, no evidence of bad driving, etc . . .then you case could be one which you could consider for trial. (Ex: The datamaster machine is calibrated at .10, so a result of .08 may be questioned, especially where there are differences between the first and second test, .08 is the presumptive minimum, so interference with the test result could be raised, field sobriety tests can be questioned . . etc.)
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
    It's likely, but not a certainly, that it will be reduced to a "wet reckless" if your blood alcohol was .08.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Craig E. Gibbs
    Law Office of Craig E. Gibbs | Craig Gibbs
    Yes a lawyer could probably get it reduced.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Johnson & Nicholson, PLLC
    Johnson & Nicholson, PLLC | Carnell Johnson
    In Charlotte, the DA will not reduce a DWI to a reckless driving charge. In surrounding counties, it is possible. Please note, however, that a .08 BAC is low, and can be challenged. The breathalyzer has a margin of error of +/- 5%, which in effect can reduce the .08 in a trial. Please feel free to contact me with more information about your case.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Ron Graham Attorney at Law
    Ron Graham Attorney at Law | Ron Graham
    It is possible but it depends on the facts of your case and what court you are in.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C.
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C. | Carlos Gonzalez
    It is possible with good legal representation... I would suggest hiring an attorney as quickly as possible, someone with experience in this area of law. Were regularly able to get a lesser charge with that blood alcohol content.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Justin Jones Attorney at Law, PLLC
    Justin Jones Attorney at Law, PLLC | Justin Blaine Jones
    No. You will not be able to reduce your DUI charge to any lesser offense. Plea bargaining is not an option with DUI arrests.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    West law Office
    West law Office | Russell West
    If this is your first DUI with a .08 BAC I think you have a good chance of having the charge reduced. You or an attorney need to speak with the prosecutor and try to work out the best deal possible.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    Yes. I recommend talking to an attorney about your case in more detail. I have been successful in mitigating consequences (see 1duilawyer.com), getting charges reduced and dismissed in cases where the BAC is .08 and even when the BAC has been over a .20. An attorney may be able to save you money and hardship in the long run as well as reduce the charges. A lot of attorneys including myself will give a free initial consultation to discuss your case in further detail so you can then decide if you want to hire or not. Whatever you decide, best of luck with your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    No. If you qualify for diversion, you can do treatment and have the charges dismissed altogether. But in the case of DUII, the prosecutor is forbidden to offer a reduced charge in exchange for a guilty plea.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Possibly. Since you are at the borderline, an experienced DUI specialist may be able to obtain a reduction or even a complete dismissal for you. Just make sure you don't waste this great case by walking into court yourself and pleading guilty to whatever they throw at you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin | Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    .08 is of course the legal limit. Often they are plea-bargained down to "wet reckless". Other times, being right at the limit may be reasonable doubt right there, especially if it is a breath test.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Mercado & Hartung
    Mercado & Hartung | Stephanie Hartung
    It is possible to have a DUI charge reduced to a lower charge, like reckless driving or negligent driving. It is not likely that the prosecutor will reduce the charge on his/her own however. Consult a DUI attorney to discuss your options. Also, don't forget that if the offense occurred in Washington State you are still facing a 90 day license suspension from the Department of Licensing and you should request the DOL hearing to contest the suspension. Please feel free to give me a call for more information.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN
    Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN | Michael Bialys
    Typically a .08 is reducable.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/24/2012
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    I would recommend you hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you and see if they can get a reduced charge. I have been there, done that! Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    There is a possibility that it could get reduced. What were the facts behind the stop and arrest? Was any one with you. What were you drinking? etc A good defense attorney would be looking at the possibility of fighting the case or working out a lesser deal.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo | Matthew Murillo
    Depends. If you try to do it yourself, the likelihood of having it reduced is unlikely. If, in fact, your BAC was .08 (and your in California), then it may be possible for your attorney (if you hire one) to negotiate reduced charges with the District Attorney. You should at least consult with an attorney to discuss the case. That way you can see if there are any other possible issues that should be addressed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Yes, if a first offender, a plea should be in the works.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC | Raymond J. Savoy
    Before the court considers a sentence reduction there must be a compelling reason. Reasons include your past criminal history and issues with the investigation an experienced dwi attorney can thoroughly evaluate your case and provide you the best advice.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    San Diego DUI Law Center
    San Diego DUI Law Center | Rick Mueller
    Depends on how good your DUI attorney is. Your DUI lawyer may be able to take advantage of such an opportunity. If you hired someone like me, here's one approach - As you may suspect, it is impossible, unreasonable and unrealistic to honestly predict an outcome unless and until a number of fundamental things occur: a) we review and analyze all of the State's evidence including but not limited to the arrest report, the BAC test record (not just the result; the result may be high but the record may be legally inadmissible), any PAS test results, and all other documents; b) I conclude my investigation including responding to the evidence once we receive copies; and c) I meet with the prosecutor to request dropping charges. Anyone who can predict an outcome before that is not being forthright with you, as you can imagine. The State also precludes one to predict an outcome, as it is legally unethical to do so. Things can change once you are inside a hearing or in a courtroom. I have had losers but then once I get in them, I make things happen - e.g. by eliciting testimony through vigorous cross-examination designed to show a Title 17 violation, a failure to follow police procedure, etc. Obviously, our objectives are: a) obtain a set aside order of a suspension action (vs. worst case scenario: lose license for 4 - 12 or 24 months) and/or a back-up option may be a restricted license after a 30 day suspension (if no prior DUI or APS suspension). b) win the court case/get the charges dismissed (vs. get convicted and receive severe penalties). In b) there are many in betweens and many different possible results and outcomes. The maximum sentence under the law is 6 - 12 months jail. Obviously, jail is not realistic nor likely for a first time offender; in fact, any jail for a first offender is utterly unacceptable and I would fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court (before whom I am licensed) to avoid same. I am not Las Vegas. I do not predict nor do I set probabilities. I am a fighting realist. All you do when you hire a DUI Specialist is to retain someone who will: a) Be prepared at all times; b) Look under every stone; c) Try to keep you driving and out of jail; and d) Protect your legal rights. Beyond that, any attorney who tells you what their strategy is at this moment should not be believed. I can make no guarantees and cannot tell you what our best strategy or tactic is at this early stage. Our best strategy - and hence, our likelihood of prevailing - is a direct function of the evidence, our investigation and evidence and what can be done at the actual hearings (which is, in turn, a function of which prosecutor is assigned your case, which judge hears the case, etc.) This is based on my honest opinion and reasonable experience of over 28 years. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.Sherlock Holmes I hope this helps with your decision. I know it is difficult but one must first hire a very good attorney to do the hard work before experiencing the fruits of that vigorous representation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    It is quite possible to have this charge reduced. Any attorney who guarantees such should not be dealt with. Need to know more facts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    Is there a possibility? Yes, but not without a lawyer. The DA will look at you as a DUI case since you're a 0.08%. Without a lawyer, they will likely not be willing to reduce it. You may have other defenses or options, but like any criminal case, yours is not a do-it-yourself project. Don't forget to contact the DMV within 10 days of your arrest to challenge the suspension of your license or you'll lose it automatically.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
    As far as getting a DUI reduced, starting with a .08% BAC is a great place to start. Ultimately, whether you can get a DUI reduced or even dismissed depends entirely on the facts of your case and any defenses you may have. I hope this answer was helpful. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/6/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney

Need more information on drunk driving law? Visit our free DUI resource page to learn more.

If you need immediate assistance, fill out a free case evaluation form to connect with a DUI lawyer in your area today!