How DC Prosecutors and Judges Treat 2nd Offense DUIs
If you are facing a second DUI offense in Washington, DC your case will typically be viewed with increased seriousness. Below a DUI lawyer in DC details the specifics of what this means when dealing with DC prosecutors and judges. To learn more or to discuss your case in more detail call and schedule a free consultation today.
How Do Prosecutors Handle Second Offense DUI Charges?
Second offense DUI charges are prosecuted more vigilantly and more vigorously than first time DUI charges. Additionally, because there is mandatory jail time attached to a conviction for a second offense DUI charge, prosecutors generally take these cases much more seriously.
For example, if an individual is charged with a first offense DUI and did provide a breathalyzer sample, and if that breathalyzer results in a score of 0.09 blood alcohol content (BAC), then that individual should be eligible for a diversion program, whereby he or she ends up with no conviction upon successfully completing the diversion program. However, if you are a second offense DUI defendant, then even if you have the exact same facts as in the first case (you completely cooperated, complied with law enforcement, gave the breath sample and had a relatively low breath score) the prosecution is still going to go after you for jail time because it is a second offense.
So, in second-offense situations, even though the facts might have weighed in your favor if it had been a first offense, they are going to go after you because the prosecution views it more seriously. This means that if you have a prior DUI conviction anywhere in the United States within the past 15 years than you are going to serve at least 10 days in jail for a second offense.
Also, because DUI is the most serious charge that these particular prosecutors ever handle, then a mandatory-jail DUI is something that they take as seriously as they can.
How Do Courts Treat Second Offense DUI Charges?
As with prosecutors, DC courts typically treat second offense DUI charges much more seriously than first offense charges. It is understood that DUIs are serious matter and that second offense DUI charges are even more serious than first offense charges.
Maybe people make a mistake once, and this doesn’t in any way indicate bad character—simply poor judgment on one occasion. So on a first offense case, most judges will be much more willing to give a person some leniency. The idea here is that the process of going through this DUI case and being put on probation if convicted will be enough of a penalty and also a constant reminder not to drive under the influence again.
If, on the other hand, an individual is in front of a judge for a second offense, that judge is likely under the suspicion that, “This is a person who either does not take the law seriously or has a problem that they are not addressing.” Thus, it is reasonable to expect the court to be less lenient on second offense DUI.