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Is It Possible For An Attorney To Stop Charges From Being Filed?


Yes, absolutely, an attorney can stop charges from being filed. It is very rare when you can do that. You would have to get to the prosecutor quickly with this case. Typically, it would be in two types of cases that I am talking about, especially if there was no driving defense. You need to get evidence quickly because they will file a case within a week depending on how close they are to the first court date, the arraignment. Retaining an attorney right away is crucial, and an experienced attorney familiar in dealing with DUIs, and the court system in that county you were arrested in, is just as important.

When talking to an attorney, you want to ask them what their familiarity is with these laws and ask what they would be able to do for you, if anything at all. There are plenty of attorneys who are not familiar with DUI laws; you have to find the right one.

What Does An Aggressive Pre-Filing Investigation Or Intervention Look Like?

I had a case within the last couple of years about pre-filings and intervention issues. Another example where it was a no driving case and my client admitted to driving under the influence, but we proved to the prosecutor’s office, that someone else, other than my client was driving. The reason my client admitted to driving was he did not want to get in trouble with his parents. He did not want them to know that his friend had been driving the car, and not realizing their drinking had put them in jeopardy of receiving a DUI. Once they realized that, they tried to retract their stories.

In that case, I had one of my investigators interview the person who was the actual driver, and whose name was mentioned in the police report, turn it into a declaration, show the person the declaration, and make sure they were comfortable with their comments. I sent that declaration to the prosecutor’s office in the county where the case was charged. They were still trying to decide whether to file charges, and eventually, the prosecutor called the person who gave the declaration and was convinced they could not prove their case, or that there was a reasonable doubt. The case was not filed.

That would be an aggressive pre-filing investigation intervention that would be what an attorney can do in a cases like these. With the right set of facts, it is important to keep the DA from filing, because being arrested is one thing, but when the case is filed, that means you have been charged with a DUI. This means you are now in the system, and even if the case is dismissed, reduced, expunged, or anything like that, the charges are there. This is now part of your permanent record.

If applying for a job and the employer sees this on your record, these DUI charges, even though they were dismissed, that still will raise red flags. That still tells them, “Hey, this person at some point was arrested for drinking and driving, maybe this is not someone I want to hire, or maybe these are questions that I need to pose to this person”. So, if you can keep the DA’s office from filing charges in the system, which may be something that would be helpful when applying to schools or employment. You could have a case pending that has been filed by the DA’s office, the case may go for months, or sometimes-even years, and the fact that it is in the system could even keep you from entering into Canada for business, or vacation purposes.

You do not have to have a conviction on file, but if a case is pending, you will be turned down upon entering this country, because those are their laws. It is one of many reasons why you do not want charges filed. If there is anything possible to prevent them, and it is rare when this happens, but if we see the situation, we jump on it, and that is why you want to retain an experienced after your arrest.

For more information on Stopping Charges From Being Filed, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 523-7878 today.

Aaron Bortel

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