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D.C. DUI Death Conviction Can Range From 0 to 30 Years Prison Time

by | Aug 11, 2013

A Maryland man was recently sentenced to 30 years in prison for a two-vehicle DUI crash that left three people dead and a fourth severely injured. at the time of the crash, the defendant was reportedly traveling at nearly 90-miles-per-hour in a 55-mile-per-hour zone with a blood-alcohol level of three times the legal limit.

Perhaps some of the most heart-wrenching cases our D.C. DUI defense lawyers have ever seen in a criminal court are those involving DUI manslaughter.

The victim’s family is understandably devastated. So too is the person accused. The end of a life was never the intention. They never even set out to hurt anyone. In some cases, the victim was someone the defendant knew and loved dearly.

In many cases, the defendant has never before been in trouble. Suddenly, he or she is facing the possibility of decades behind bars. It’s understandable that some defendants begin to experience a deep depression and debate simply giving up the fight.

That’s why we urge you to allow us to take up the fight for you.

D.C. Statute 22-2105 holds that a person convicted of DUI manslaughter faces a vast range of punishments, from no jail time at all to a maximum of 30 years in prison.

If it’s at all possible to help you avoid a conviction, that’s the approach our attorneys are going to try. We will look at things like the manner in which evidence was collected. Sometimes in criminal cases, the way in which evidence was collected can make a big difference in whether it’s allowable in court. For example, if a blood sample was collected involuntarily without a warrant, that information may not be admissible.

Other times, an officer’s credibility might be called into question. An officer who in the past has proven untrustworthy for any reason might have his or testimony questioned on the stand in your case.

If these options aren’t available, we might look into having the charge reduced. While a manslaughter charge carries up to 30 years, a charge of negligent homicide carries only a maximum of 5 years.

Of course, both of these are felonies. We might look into whether reckless driving might be more appropriate. It’s still a serious charge, with an automatic license revocation and a fine of up to $3,000. However, the maximum incarceration time as a misdemeanor under D.C. 50-2201.04 is one year.

Whether you should fight the charges or would be best to negotiate a plea is a decision you should make only after careful consideration with your attorney.

Either way, having a lawyer who is experienced in the area of DUI law can make a critical difference in the outcome of your case. Even if it seems likely you will be convicted on at least one charge, the judge has a great deal of discretion and is going to consider a wide range of factors before determining your punishment. A lawyer who can make a strong case in your favor – including a heavy emphasis on mitigating factors – can make a big difference in whether you are given a sentence on the higher or lower end of the spectrum.

If you are facing DUI charges in D.C., contact the Scrofano Law, PC at 202-765-3175.