DC First-Offense DUI Lawyer

When it comes to DUI charges, even a first conviction can end up having serious consequences making it important that those accused take their charge as seriously as possible. For assistance mitigating the damage of the offense and creating a strategic approach to minimize the chances of a conviction, consult with a DC first-offense DUI lawyer today. An experienced drunk driving defense attorney could also help prepare you for what to expect and ensure you know what to expect at each step of the legal process.

First DUI Charges

The Comprehensive Impaired Driving Act of 2012 (pdf) imposed stricter penalties for first-time impaired driving within DC. The law also imposed new oversight for breath-testing programs within DC.

One of the main reasons the law was passed was DC had been forced to suspend its breath testing program the prior year after a consultant found nearly 400 convictions were based on inaccurate test results. The tests were showing inflated blood alcohol concentration levels, and people were being arrested and charged for driving impaired even when below the legal limit.

A DC DUI first-offense attorney knows that many people who are charged with impaired driving assume they have few options when their BAC is .08 or higher. The reality, however, is that DC’s past history shows that evidence is imperfect and that mistakes are made with breathalyzers. A person can always try to challenge their impaired driving charges and they should explore possible ways they can make it difficult or impossible for a prosecutor to prove the case against them.

An experienced first-offense DUI lawyer in DC could help defendants who have been charged with a DUI to explore whether they have viable defenses, can get charges dropped, or should seek to negotiate a plea agreement. Based on the specifics of the evidence against them, someone’s attorney should be able to help them craft an appropriate legal approach designed to get them the best outcome they can under the circumstances.

Consequences of a First DUI

Consequences of a first DUI vary depending upon a person’s blood alcohol concentration at the time of the incident, as well as depending upon whether there are aggravating factors like an accident causing injury or property damage. A first-time offender could face a $1,000 fine and up to 180 days of jail time. With a BAC of .20 or above, there is a mandatory minimum of 10 days incarceration.

Among possible consequences like fines, jail time, and a driver’s license suspension is the fact that a first conviction is going to go on a person’s driving record and on their criminal record. This means higher motor vehicle insurance costs and possible disqualification from some career, educational, and even volunteer opportunities. It also means they will face harsher penalties if they are arrested for impaired driving again, since penalties become progressively worse with successive convictions. It is important to consult with a DUI lawyer who could help avoid such harsh punishments.

If someone has no history of impaired driving, a prosecutor and judge may be willing to allow them to plead down to a lesser charge or to enter a pre-trial diversion program called a deferred sentencing agreement. While these options are not as good as a not guilty verdict, they can help someone to minimize the long and short-term consequences of a DUI conviction.

Contacting a DC First-Offense DUI Attorney

A first offense DUI still must be taken seriously. Contact a DC first-offense DUI lawyer when you are facing charges to get help fighting the charges that have been brought against you.

DC First-Offense DUI Lawyer