Criminal defense attorneys strive for dismissal in a DUI case. And with a good strategy, legally-sound motions, and perseverance, a "nolle prosse" on the day of trial or before trial is the best possible outcome.
However, sometimes DUI cases are dismissed due to the State being unable to prove its case because a witness, or several witnesses, have failed to appear for court.
In misdemeanor cases, State witnesses are required to appear in court on the day of trial. If the witnesses do not appear and the State does not have a valid reason for their absence, the State will be forced to dismiss.
If the speedy trial period (90 days) has not been waived due to a bench warrant or defense continuance, it is possible that the State will seek to refile a dismissed DUI provided the statute of limitations has not run. For a DUI involving an accident, the statute of limitations is 2 years from the date of arrest. For a DUI without an accident, the statute of limitations is 1 year.
If the statute of limitations has not run and the speedy trial period was not waived, your DUI case may be refiled if there is a compelling reason. Those reasons are at the sole discretion of the State Attorney's Office.
Some of those reasons may include:
1) Is it a 2nd DUI or higher? The State Attorney's Office will seek harsher prosecutions against alleged repeat DUI offenders.
2) Was this a DUI with a high breath reading?
3) Was there an accident with injury or property damage?
4) Can the case be refiled? Simply put, sometimes the State just wants to take another crack at the defendant. For no other reason than the lack of any legal obstacles, the State may chose to refile, even if it's an ordinary 1st DUI.
Refiles are frustrating, both for attorneys and for the accused. But they are a reality of criminal prosecution.
If you have a DUI case that has been refiled by the State Attorney's Office in Miami-Dade County or Broward County, contact me, a DUI attorney, today.