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Will a DUI Arrest Ruin My Career?

by | Apr 19, 2011

As a Washington, DC DUI defense attorney, I frequently get calls from students and professionals who have just been arrested and charged with a DUI.  The first thing that many of these prospective clients are worried about is whether getting a DUI or DWI will ruin their career.  This is one of the many ways that drunk driving defense is different than defending people charged with other crimes. When someone who has been charged with a gun crime, or a burglary calls me up, he or she is generally familiar with the criminal justice system and is worried about spending a long time in prison. When someone calls my office after being charged with a DC DUI, it is often their first time being arrested for any crime.

First, I would like to mention that I know doctors, lawyers, and even judges who have been arrested on suspicion of DUI, and they are still employed.  If you are an attorney who is worried about discipline from the DC Bar, a DUI is generally not considered a crime of moral turpitude that would lead to discipline.  However it is best to consult the DC Code of Professional Conduct as to your particular situation.

The most important thing to remember is that an arrest for DUI is a not a conviction, and there is a lot that can be done to help your situation.  If it is your first offense of any kind, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a deferred sentencing agreement (DSA), where the charge can be dismissed if you comply with the requirements of probation.  If you are not eligible for a DSA, your DC DUI lawyer can discuss the many other options that may prevent a conviction.