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How Often Do DUI Cases Get Dropped?

March 11, 2016

If you're facing DUI charges and considering fighting them, you may find yourself wondering what the odds are that you're going to get the charges dropped or dismissed. Does this only happen in such a tiny percentage of cases that it's not worth your time, or do you have a real chance to get out of court without charges?

Naturally, the numbers change every year, but you'll find that getting the charges dropped may be more common than you think.

For example, when looking at the numbers in California, only about 10 percent of cases were thrown out in 2006. However, when looking at the decade from 1997 to 2006, the rate was far higher, with 25-15 percent of the charges being dropped.

For comparison, Rhode Island convicts on roughly 67 percent of its DUI cases, meaning that 33 percent of the cases are dropped, dismissed or otherwise don't end in convictions. In Washington State, reports have shown that about 32 percent of cases are dismissed.

In Connecticut, between 2000 and 2011, the rates climbed dramatically. Around half of the cases were dismissed at the beginning, but that soared to 70 percent in 2011. The reason, though, was that Connecticut started letting first-time offenders go through an educational course. If they completed it, they could have their charges dropped. Many people took advantage of this program.

Overall, conviction rates in the United States have been reported to range between a low of 63 percent and a high of 95 percent.

As you can see, dismissal is a very real possibility, though it does depend on many factors. Be sure that you know all of the legal options you have in Kentucky.

Source: The Law Dictionary, "What percentage of DUI cases get dismissed or dropped?," James Hirbyand, accessed March 11, 2016