Facing a DUI Washington DC?
Driving under the influence (or “DUI”) is a serious criminal offense in Washington, D.C., carrying some of the worst consequences for those convicted. It is the only misdemeanor in the District of Columbia that under certain factual scenarios, can carry mandatory minimum jail time.
In DC, the crime of DUI carries a maximum penalty of 180 days and/or a $1,000 fine, as well as suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. However, many judges will give DUI offenders probation even if convicted — except when the law imposes mandatory minimum jail time.
If you’ve been accused of DUI in DC or the surrounding area, let our experienced DUI lawyer give you the aggressive defense you need to take back your future.
How the District of Columbia Defines DUI, DWI, and OWI
As we have already mentioned, driving under the influence (DUI) means that an individual had operated a motor vehicle while being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It also means that his or her ability to drive was impaired.
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) means that the same individual has been operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 grams per deciliter of blood. In case their BAC is higher, there may be additional punishment, and a mandatory minimum sentence may be longer.
Finally, operating while impaired (OWI) is the least serious offense as well as the easiest for the DC Attorney General’s Office to prove. The prosecution is required to prove that an individual has been operating or in physical control of a vehicle while being noticeably impaired. Their BAC can be lower than required for a DUI charge, but if there is enough evidence to support that claim, they will be convicted.
Police officers have several ways to prove driving-related offenses. While DWI relies on a chemical score above 0.08 (or 0.10 for a urine test), establishing that an individual was driving under the influence can also be done by using a breath test or a field sobriety test. Poor performance on field sobriety tests, along with the strong smell of alcohol or slurred speech, can also be enough to prove an individual was intoxicated. That is why if you are arrested for a DUI/DWI offense, you should reach out to a Washington DC DUI attorney as soon as possible.
Penalties for DUI You May be Facing
Penalties for a DWI/DUI offense depend on the number of prior similar crimes within the last 15 years. Although a judge has the discretion to decide whether to impose jail time, a fine, or both, going to jail is mandatory for second and subsequent offenses.
For example, for a first-time DUI or DWI conviction, an individual may spend up to 180 days in jail. However, for a second DUI offense, there is a 10-day mandatory minimum jail sentence that can last up to one year. For a third-time DUI/DWI, there is a 15-day mandatory minimum jail penalty, with a maximum time in jail of one year. Fines for a second and third offense are from $2,500 to $5,000 for a second and even $10,000 for a third offense.
If an individual is convicted of an OWI offense, he or she could spend up to 90 days in jail and pay a fine of $500. Again, penalties get harsher for every subsequent offense with a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 days for the second and 10 days for the third OWI offense.
After a DUI arrest, the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) will probably order an administrative hearing to determine whether the defendant will be facing driver’s license suspension or restriction. Your driving privilege in the District of Columbia may be at risk if you don’t appear in court without being defended by a seasoned DC DUI attorney who knows how to deal with this process.
Clients facing DUI/DWI charges shouldn’t try fighting these charges alone. Consequences of a DUI/DWI and even OWI conviction could be devastating, and that is why it is necessary to reach out to experienced DUI attorneys.
Our DC DUI Attorney is Here to Help
Deciding to fight a DUI charge is the first step in putting an arrest behind you. Without competent legal defense, your possibilities of reaching a result that’s fair — or beneficial — are slim. A knowledgeable DC DUI lawyer is your best hope for freedom.
When you choose a lawyer in Washington to protect you against charges that might affect the rest of your life, you require somebody with extensive experience and knowledge in litigating DC DUI charges. When you work with DC DUI lawyer Christopher J. Mutimer of Scrofano Law, you can rest assured that you have a dedicated legal advocate on your side each step of the way.
We are passionate about getting a favorable result in every case we handle, and we will work relentlessly until your case reaches a positive resolution. Our understanding and experience provide us a strong foundation for defense, but it is our desire to assist people that is our most valuable attribute.
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Contact a Dedicated Washington DC DUI Lawyer
No matter what type of DUI or criminal charge you face in DC or the surrounding area, Christopher J. Mutimer of Scrofano Law can help. We will remain in close contact with you throughout this tough time, and we will work tirelessly to ensure that your freedom, future, and reputation are protected. No matter what takes place throughout this time, you will never be left to fight it alone.
Since you have a short window of time to contest your suspended license and due to the severity of DUI charges in Washington, DC, you must call a DC DUI lawyer as soon as you are notified about your charges. Having our competent DUI lawyers on your side can mean the difference between returning to life as normal and dealing with the fallout of a DUI conviction.
If you or somebody you know has been charged with a DUI in DC, contact Christopher J. Mutimer of Scrofano Law at 202-630-0949 today to start developing an effective defense.
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