Our D.C. DUI attorneys know that the crash resulted in the death of one teen and the serious injury of another.
These cases can be emotionally wrenching. We understand how especially difficult this must have been for a former officer of the law, once sworn to defend and protect.
While a relatively small percentage of felony cases involve law enforcement officers as defendants, we do find that many of our clients have never before been arrested. Suddenly, they are beside themselves with guilt and confusion and the possibility of facing years in prison on high-level felony charges.
Sometimes in fatal DUI cases, defendants will opt to pursue a plea deal, at least in part to spare the deceased’s loved ones from the pain of a trial. In certain situations, this can prove to be a smart defense move, as it may present the possibility of having some of the more serious or weaker charges dropped by the prosecution, in exchange for a guilty plea that will ultimately garner a lighter penalty than what you would have likely received at trial. Sometimes a willingness to plead guilty and express remorse (though ONLY cases where your chances of a trial win are slim) can move the judge to grant leniency.
Still, you need to also understand that sometimes, a trial may be your best option for a fair or favorable outcome.
While we’re sensitive to the emotional turmoil everyone is enduring, we have a responsibility to impress upon our clients that without a strong and sometimes aggressive defense, charges like DUI manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run have the potential to result in a very harsh sentences – up to and including life behind bars. It’s our job to make sure that not only are your rights protected, but that your interests and future are as well.
It’s also worth noting that while police work to collect a great deal of evidence in the immediate aftermath of a fatal DUI crash, you might not be arrested for months while certain evidence is being processed. You need to be mindful in the interim that any statements you make to authorities or anyone else – either in person, through text messages, e-mails or various social media – have the potential to be used against you in court.
In this case, the defendant, at the time a 37-year-old federal law enforcement officer assigned to protect the U.S. attorney general, reportedly was speeding and intoxicated when he drifted left of center on North Keys Road. In doing so, he struck a vehicle with two teen occupants, killing one and hospitalizing another, who later made a full recovery.
He was initially charged with a total of eight counts, of which he was convicted of six, including the motor vehicle manslaughter charge. We understand that federal guidelines called for a sentence of between three and four years, though prosecutors had been asking for a much higher 10 years.
Cases like this require an attorney with extensive experience in felony DUI law in D.C.
If you are facing any DUI charges in D.C., contact the Law Office of Daniel A. Gross, PLLC for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights or fill out our online contact form. Visa, Mastercard and Discover cards accepted. Call 202-596-5716.