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DUI Washington DC

About DUI Washington DC

DUI charges in Washington, D.C. can carry serious consequences for those convicted. Christopher Mutimer, a DC DUI attorney at Scrofano Law, PC, offers powerful and effective DUI defense.

Understanding the Court Process for DUI in Washington D.C.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious criminal offense in Washington, D.C., that carries some of the worst consequences for those convicted. It is the only misdemeanor in DC that, under certain factual scenarios, can carry mandatory minimum jail time.

DUI and DWI charges in DC involve both a criminal case at the Traffic Division of the DC Superior Court and an administrative hearing at the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The court case will determine if you are convicted of the drunk driving charge on which you were arrested, and any potential punishment such as jail, fines, community service, etc.

The DMV hearing will determine whether you would lose your license, required to get high-risk insurance (SR-22), or pay any fines.

Fighting DUI Charges

The government will use different evidence when trying to prove the individual charged with a DUI is guilty. Common evidence includes testimony from a police officer who pulled over the driver, as well as results from breath, blood, or urine chemical tests.

Since you have a short window of time to contest your suspended license, you must call a DC DUI defense attorney as soon as you are notified about your charges. Your Washington, DC DUI lawyer from Scrofano Law PC, Christopher J. Mutimer, offers a comprehensive defense to anyone facing DUI charges in this state.

By representing you at the DMV hearing, your attorney can not only fight the suspension of your driving privileges but will also have the opportunity to see what the government is going to try and use against you in criminal court.

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) and the DUI D.C. Law

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is a measure of how much alcohol is in a person’s blood and is expressed as grams per 100 milliliters of blood. A sober person who is legally safe to drive a vehicle in DC would have a BAC of 0.00 grams per 100 milliliters of blood. A person with a BAC reading of between 0.039 and 0.059 would experience symptoms of mild euphoria, joy, loss of inhibitions, and a decrease in concentration according to scientific studies.

When a person has a BAC of between 0.06 and 0.09 grams, they should be experiencing blunted reflexes, reasoning problems, depth perception issues, loss of peripheral vision, and problems recovering from glare. That is within the rage where you could be charged with DWI in DC.

If a driver with a BAC of 0.08 grams or more is found to be operating a motor vehicle, they can be charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in DC. DC Code Section 50-2201.05(b) provides that for a first offense, the defendant can be sentenced to a fine of $300 and a maximum of 90 days in jail. If the defendant had a BAC of 0.20 grams or higher, there is a mandatory minimum of five days in jail. If the defendant’s BAC was higher than 0.25 grams, there is an additional 10 days of mandatory jail time.

We Can Help You With Your DC DUI Charges

Many people charged with a DUI or DWI believe that the blood alcohol score is scientific evidence that cannot be challenged. But, all methods of testing may be subject to several errors. There are many potential problems when it comes to the BAC and the law in DC, and our DC criminal defense lawyers can work with you to present the best possible case if you are facing DUI conviction.

Even if you are charged for this offense for the first time, you could face jail time and other severe consequences. Don’t risk your future! If you or your loved one have been accused of DUI or DWI in DC or the surrounding area, let our experienced DUI attorneys give you the aggressive defense you need.

What to Know about Checkpoints for DUI in DC

The Code and city regulations allow the police to set up drunk driving checkpoints within the District of Columbia. A DUI checkpoint is when the police set up a roadblock and randomly stop cars to perform a sobriety check on the driver. DUI checkpoints are usually set up in locations and at times when there a likely to be a greater number of drunk drivers on the roads, such as just after the bars and nightclubs close.

Normally, the police must have probable cause to stop a driver on suspicion of drunk driving. That may involve weaving, driving erratically, failure to obey posted signs or traffic lights, or other similar behavior. In the case of a sobriety checkpoint, the police are allowed to pull over drivers who are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs without probable cause.

However, the law requires that the police create a standardized operating procedure and follow that procedure at all times while operating the checkpoint. If you have been pulled over at a sobriety checkpoint, you performed poorly on a field sobriety test, and have been charged with DUI or some other DC criminal offense in Washington D.C., your lawyer may be able to challenge the operation of the checkpoint in court and possibly get these charges dropped.

DUI in DC First Offense

DC doesn’t have a felony DUI. DWI or DUI is a misdemeanor handled in the traffic court division of the Superior Court. But, even if you are charged for this offense for the first time, there still might be consequences such as loss of driver’s license, high-risk or SR-22 insurance, court costs, and DMV fines, among others.

The maximum penalty for a first time DUI is 180 days in jail and a $1,000 in fines. If the accused decided to go to trial, he or she does not have a right to a jury trial. It would be the judge who would decide whether the first time offender is guilty or not.

The government does not usually seek harsh penalties for first time DUI offenders. However, that can change if DUI occurred together with other criminal offenses such as resisting arrest or being involved in a crash where people got hurt.

How DC Courts Treat Second and Third DUI Offense?

If someone has a prior conviction for driving while under the influence of alcohol within the last 15 years, these cases would be looked at more seriously. For a second time, maximum penalties for DUI regarding jail time raise from 180 days to up to one year of jail time. When it comes to fines, they can get up to $5,000. This offense also includes 10 days of mandatory jail time.

If the driver’s blood alcohol concentration was above legal limits while driving a motor vehicle for the third time within 15 years or less, he or she would be facing a third consecutive DUI offense. This offense is treated very seriously by the courts and prosecuted vigorously.

Penalties for a third DUI conviction can include 15 days of mandatory jail time, fines of up to $10,000, community service, and installment of an ignition interlock device. This individual will also face mandatory revocation of his or her driver’s license for two years.

DC DUI law firm, Scrofano Law PC, can help you with your DUI charges. Our DC criminal defense firm is prepared to defend you in a variety of criminal and traffic offense practice areas, including traffic violations, underage drinking, as well as assault, fake ID charges, expungement, and other criminal offense cases.

What DUI Classes Washington DC Can You Attend?

If you are wondering can a DC DUI conviction be expunged, bear in mind that driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are considered ineligible misdemeanors, and thus can not be expunged.

If you were arrested for driving under the influence in DC, but not convicted, you might have the right to have your record sealed from the public under DC DUI laws. One way to do that is to prove you did not commit the crime for which you got arrested, and the other is to wait a certain number of years before making a request for expungement. Drunk driving charges may only be sealed after four years from the date of dismissal.

There are different drunk driving classes in DC, each fulfilling a different requirement that judges might ask from a defendant. The traffic alcohol program, the traffic safety program, as well as the victim impact panel, are almost universally imposed on those who are convicted of drunk driving in DC. DUI schools are mandatory, and if the judge orders you to complete one or more of those classes, you must adhere to it.

Reach out to Christopher J. Mutimer, an expert DUI attorney at Scrofano Law, PC, at 202-946-5783 today to start developing an effective defense. Contact us and schedule a consultation to begin making progress on your case.