What To Do After Getting a DUI in DC
After receiving a DUI in DC, an individual may be both overwhelmed and confused about the prospect of proceeding legally. It is important, if you have been charged with a DUI in DC, to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney will best be able to assist you in reducing or dismissing any charges you may be facing.
First Steps Following a DUI
The first thing an individual should do after being arrested with a DUI is to contact an experienced attorney who focuses on that specific jurisdiction. If an individual is arrested for DUI in DC, they should contact an attorney who focuses on DUIs in DC.
Anyone who is arrested for a DUI will be given a form entitled Notice of Proposed Revocation by the police in almost all cases. Every once in a while, an officer will either neglect to do this, or will choose not to. However, in the vast majority of DUI cases, an officer will fill out the form saying that based upon the arrest for a DUI, the person will lose their driver’s license if they have a DC driver’s license, or their privilege to drive in DC if their license is somewhere else. This will be for an indeterminate amount of time, but for at least six months unless the individual requests the hearing at the DC DMV. They have ten days to do so if they have a DC license, and fifteen days to do so if they have a license somewhere else.
The time clock begins ticking from the date of arrest. The person who has been arrested for a DUI needs to decide whether they want to automatically lose their ability to drive in DC, which will start ten or fifteen days later if they do not request the hearing. They should both seriously and quickly consider what they want to do. In most cases, the individual will want to request that hearing to avoid losing the privilege to drive.
After being charged with a DUI in DC, an individual should get a copy of their full driver’s record as far back as the DMV will give them, from every jurisdiction that they have had a driver’s license in in the past dozen years or so. This is because the prosecutors will not just assume that it is a defendant’s first DUI charge or conviction. They will require the defendant to give them their driver’s records as documentation showing that fact. Even if an individual does have a prior DUI conviction, it is key to show these records to an attorney, because they will want to make sure that they have all the information that the prosecutors do, so there are no surprises.
Alcohol Education Courses
In DC, an alcohol education course is called a Traffic Alcohol Program. This is a program where an individual meets regularly with a therapist or counselor for a period of time, usually once a week, to discuss the negative impact that alcohol use and abuse can have upon a person. An important factor to consider is that, in DC, a court will always order the Traffic Alcohol Program as part of the penalty or terms of probation if there is a DUI conviction.
Oftentimes, an attorney will advise clients, particularly if they have a prior conviction for a DUI and are now facing a new DUI charge, that they should strongly consider enrolling in a Traffic Alcohol Program while their current case is pending. It can go a long way in negotiations with the prosecutors, as well as if it comes to the point where some form of sentence is going to be imposed by a court. The court will look very favorably upon someone being proactive and taking that alcohol education course.