Housing renovations can be an exciting process, especially when they are aired on a national TV show like “Fixer Upper,” based in Waco, Texas. Unfortunately for one family whose home was the star of an episode in “Fixer Upper’s” twelfth season, a rude awakening early Saturday morning brought them downstairs to see a sizeable dent in their recently upgraded living room. Sticking halfway through the wall was a car that had driven through the intersection and into their home, and inside the car, an purportedly drunk driver.
Waco’s Tribune-Herald reported the incident and interviewed the homeowners, who credited the recent renovations for the fact that it had probably stopped the car from going further into their house and causing more damage. Although a sizeable amount of property damage occurred, nobody was hurt. The Tribune-Herald reports that the driver was charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) and arrested at the scene.
You might think that while DUI and DWI arrests come with their own set of legal consequences—some DUI/DWI arrests carry mandatory minimum jail time penalties or can result in the loss of your license and fines—causing damage on buildings, roads or other cars in the act of drunk driving would make those consequences worse.
In Washington, D.C. however, destruction of property or other vehicles in the process of drunk driving will not change the maximum penalty assigned for the DUI/DWI charge. This means that if you are charged with a DUI and the maximum penalty is 180 days in jail and/or a $1000 fine, a judge cannot add another 100 days to that jail time or increase the fine to $5000. Instead, the inflicted damage might be taken into account by the judge hearing your case, and could affect your ability to negotiate a good plea deal with the government’s prosecutors.
In Washington, D.C. if you are arrested for Driving Under the Influence you will need to speak with an experienced DC DUI attorney. Consequences for being arrested for DUI can include the suspension of your drivers license, commercials drivers license or even mandatory jail time. An experienced D.C. DUI lawyer will explain to you how to navigate the Department of Motor Vehicles and how to best avoid jail time. In addition, a lawyer can negotiate on your behalf in order to get your case dismissed through diversion or a lawyer can aggressively defend you at trial. The bottom line, you need a lawyer and you need to contact one now. Don’t wait. All waiting does is allow the government more time to prep its case against you and less time for your lawyer to negotiate on your behalf and effectively investigating your case. One of the biggest weapons a DC DUI defense lawyer has is subpoenaing video from traffic cameras or other surveillance cameras. In viewing these videos defense attorneys may be able to determine that a stop was illegal, an officer is lying or that the Standardized Field Sobriety testing was done incorrectly. The point it is, you want you attorney to subpoena these videos. Unfortunately, some individuals wait too long to contact a lawyer and the surveillance videos end up being deleted or recorded over. Do not make that mistake. Contact a DC DUI lawyer immediately after your arrest.
It is important in these situations that you hire a criminal lawyer who knows these laws and will fight on your behalf to get the best results possible. At Scrofano Law, our criminal defense attorneys are committed to asserting our clients’ rights and keeping them informed every step of the way. If you or a loved one is charged with a DUI/DWI in Washington, D.C., Virginia or Maryland, call Scrofano Law (202-946-5783) immediately for a consultation.