Washington DC DUI Defenses
If you are convicted of a DUI in DC, depending on the facts of your case, you could face several penalties, or combinations thereof, at trial. All can be severe when imposed by the court or at your DC DMV hearing. Punishments increase if you have a previous DUI as far as 15 years back on your record.
A DUI conviction can also result in future employment difficulties, endangerment to your professional standing, and a criminal record that can follow you for years. A skilled DC DUI attorney has extensive experience developing successful DC DUI defenses and can help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case should you be charged with a drunk driving-related offense.
Penalties for DUI in DC are based on whether someone has previous charges on their record and several other factors. It is important to note that a skilled defense attorney can often negotiate to reduce or eliminate DUI charges and will work to mitigate any exposure someone may face.
- First offense: 180 days in jail and $1,000 fine
- Second offense: One year in jail (a minimum of 10 days must served) and $2,500 to $5,000
- Third offense: One year in jail (a minimum of 15 days served) and $2,500 to $10,000
- Fourth and subsequent offenses: Add 30 days to the minimum time served
Defenses for DUI
An experienced DUI defense lawyer has several options to consider in mounting your defense in DC. Some common drunk driving defenses include:
- Improper Stop: The premise of this argument is that the officer lacked reasonable, articulable suspicion to stop the driver as their driving exhibited no visible clues of a possible DUI.
- Improper Administration or Questionable Accuracy of Field Sobriety Tests: The arrest may be inappropriate if based on an improperly administered field sobriety test or dubious results. It also might be argued that the officer was improperly trained, that the field testing device was not properly calibrated or maintained, or that the driver had pre-existing medical conditions that produced false impressions in the mind of the police officer.
- Improper Evidence Management: This defense assails the administration of a blood, urine, or breath test, suggesting that it might have been tampered with or mishandled in the chain of custody.
- Improper Police Actions: Police officers may violate a person’s constitutional rights in a way that leads to dismissal of their DUI charge.
Working with a Defense Lawyer
Prosecutors in DC take DUI charges seriously and, as such, aggressively pursue convictions. A seasoned DUI attorney will be able to spot weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and use those issues to either eliminate the charges against you or plead the charges down and reduce any potential penalties you may face. That can include opting for an alcohol aversion or community service program instead of jail time or severe fines.
Your DUI defense lawyer will examine every detail of your case and decide which DUI defense would be most effective for your case. If you wish to avoid the serious and long-term consequences of jail time, fines, license suspension, and other negative consequences that accompany a DUI conviction in DC, you need a DC DUI attorney.