What Happens If One is Arrested for Drunk Driving and What Are The Penalties?
The first thing you want to do if you are arrested for a DUI in Washington, DC is look to see if you were given a Notice of Proposed Suspension. This notice that the police officer probably handed you when you were arrested tells you that you have 5 days if you are a DC resident, or 10 days if you have an out of state driver’s license, to go in person to the DMV hearing office in southeast DC and request a hearing. What that will do is it will give you and your attorney a chance to listen to the police evidence and challenge and fight that suspension of your driver’s license. Most importantly it will stop the suspension from immediately occurring and give you until that hearing so you will be able to keep your driving privileges.
Now, at your court date your attorney can explain to you what is going to happen. Sometimes you may be able to have the case dismissed, on really the first day – you plead guilty, you agree to some conditions, you go to some driving classes or some alcohol testing, it’s called a Deferred Sentencing Agreement, or a DSA. And then if you do everything that you are supposed to do, the charges get dismissed and that helps a long way with your record But that is not always available, so you are going to have to ask your attorney if that applies to your specific set of facts. But what is important to remember, is that you don’t always just want to plead guilty on the first day, or any day. You want somebody who is going to help you fight the charges because if you have an attorney that knows what they are doing, has knowledge of the field sobriety testing, breath testing, blood alcohol testing, urinalysis, there may be a lot they can do to help you with your case.
It’s important to remember, that an arrest is not a conviction.