Drunk driving in Washington, DC is a crime and there is no denying that. However, even judges will say that unlike other DC criminal offenses, people seem to think it is okay to drive drunk since everyone does, even though that is not a valid excuse.
While it may not be a valid excuse, it does seem like it might hold some truth. According to a recent news article from the Washington Post, a DC police captain was just arrested for DUI involving an accident in SE Washington, DC. Authorities have said the police captain is a nearly 30 year veteran of the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and was currently assigned to the Seventh District. At the time of his arrest, he was not on duty and was driving his privately owned vehicle. Reports indicate that the alleged drunk driving car accident occurred just before 10 p.m. on the 2300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in Southeast Washington, DC. The defendant allegedly crashed into another car from the rear, which caused the front vehicle to crash into another car. One of the vehicles damaged in the crash belonged to the United States government.
Fortunately, nobody was injured in the suspected Washington, DC drunk driving crash. The officer was arrested on suspicion of DUI and was issued a citation to appear in court. It should be noted that in Washington, DC, unless the defendant is being charged with a felony, domestic violence, or has an open case already, he or she is normally issued a citation to appear in court on his or her own recognizance. This is not considered any type of special treatment towards the officer in question. It should also be noted that the officer arrested in connection with this article has not been convicted of any crime and is presumed innocent unless and until he is found guilty in a court of law. This officer has been placed on suspension with “his police powers revoked” pending the outcome of the case.
It is important to understand that while being arrested for drunk driving in Washington, DC may make it seem like the world is ending for you, an arrest is not a conviction. There is often a lot your DUI defense lawyer can do to prevent a conviction. However, when you do a consultation, you should make sure your attorney actually has a track record of taking these cases to trial and fighting for his clients’ rights.
While we can never guarantee you will be found not guilty of DUI in Washington, DC, we can guarantee that if you take a quick plea, you can never win. Many of these cases may seem strong at the time of your arrest, but as your attorney will explain, there are lot of ways to improve your situation, and it is often in your best interest to aggressively fight the charges. This is not to say that it is never worth taking a plea bargain, but it better be one that actually helps you and not just the government. The sad reality is that many plea offers in DC DUI case do not benefit the client in anyway, yet some DUI defense firms recommend these pleas because it clears the case quicker. This is not what you want so be sure to talk to the attorney about this during the consultation. You should not feel uncomfortable asking your attorney about how many trials he done in the past.