In Montana, it’s a common misconception that an arrest for DUI means that a person is guilty of a DUI charge. This is absolutely untrue. As in our American judicial system, you are truly innocent until proven guilty.
You usually don’t even have to tell your employer that you have been arrested for a DUI because you have not been convicted of anything when you are arrested. An arrest is just part of the process — it’s an accusation. It doesn’t mean you’re convicted of anything.
If you’ve been arrested for DUI, working with experienced DUI attorneys can ensure that you can come out of the mess with something other than a DUI conviction.
If you’ve been accused of DUI
As DUI attorneys, one of the most common questions we get from clients is “What are my options?”. The good news is that there are multiple options for anyone accused of DUI after arrest.
Depending on the nature of the evidence, the prosecutor, and if law enforcement made mistakes during the investigation, here are just a few scenarios that could happen — even after being arrested for DUI:
- The case could be dismissed on a technicality by the judge
- The case could be dismissed by the prosecutor
- The case could be resolved via a deferred prosecution agreement, where charges are ultimately dismissed
- The case could be transferred to a DUI treatment court
- The case could be transferred to a veterans’ court
- Motions could be filed, resulting in the dismissal of charges or the entire case
- Evidence could be suppressed, leaving the prosecutor no choice but to dismiss a case, or offer a plea deal for a different offense
Can a DUI charge be changed?
As far as plea offers go, a prosecutor has the discretion to change the arrest charge from DUI to multiple other, non-DUI offenses. In Montana, a common amendment to a DUI charge would be a Reckless Driving offense.
Reckless driving is a non-DUI conviction that usually does not include jail time — just a fine and usually the completion of an alcohol class. This can significantly change not only how your insurance company treats your vehicle policy, but can also save a job and is reflected much differently on your DMV record than a DUI.
Need help? Our legal team is here to assist you
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a DUI, don’t worry — there is hope. There are numerous avenues available to an accused that are much more positive than a DUI conviction.
However, these are not just given out by prosecutors, they are earned by hard work. So, hiring an experienced DUI attorney is a must if you expect to receive a good offer to resolve a DUI arrest. If you want the best possible outcome in this situation, our experienced criminal attorneys in Missoula and Boseman are here to help you. Contact us at Judnich Law for a free consultation to discuss your DUI arrest.
Marty is a former criminal prosecutor in the Cascade County Attorney’s Office and now uses that experience to defend those accused of crimes. A University of Montana School of Law graduate, Marty focuses his practice on personal injury and criminal defense and is a premier DUI defense attorney. He is also well versed in the insurance claims industry and has negotiated significant settlements with nearly every major insurance company.