Washington DC DUI Lawyer

In Washington DC, DUI laws are governed by § 50-2205.02, § 50-2205.03, § 50-1905, and similar sections of the DC law code. It is important to know about these laws, as they were recently altered to reflect the current legislative changes that were passed in the District of Columbia. In order to properly understand your rights when meeting with a Washington DC DUI lawyer after you have been charged with a DUI, you should go over the new codes to see what violations could apply to your situation and what penalties could be issued. A lawyer will also be able to see how the new codes and laws differ from the older versions.

The Definition of Driving Under The Influence

If you are over the age of 21, you are not legally allowed to operate any type of motor vehicle while your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is .08 or higher. This includes personally owned vehicles, work vehicles, and small vehicles, such as mopeds and the like. If your BAC is under 0.08, you can still be charged with Driving Under the Influence even though you are not presumed to be intoxicated.

If you are under 21 years of age, you cannot have any alcohol in your system, as it is illegal for individuals under the age of 21 to possess and/or drink alcohol. Pursuant to D.C. Code § 50-2206.01 you are considered to be “intoxicated” if there is any measurable amount of alcohol in your blood, breath, or urine if you under 21 years of age.

It is illegal to operate or be in physical control of a commercial vehicle in DC while intoxicated or while under the influence of alcohol or any drug. If you are operating or in physical control of a commercial vehicle, it is illegal to have a BAC of 0.04 or more. As with the above, commercial drivers who are under 21 cannot have any alcohol.

First Offense

A Washington lawyer will be able to help you understand the potential penalties that you could be facing after you are stopped and given a DUI. These penalties change depending on the number of similar or related offenses that you have been convicted of in the past.

When you are first charged with a DUI in Washington DC, you could be given both a fine and time in jail. However, the fine cannot exceed the amount of $1,000, and the term in jail cannot exceed 180 days. This is for any BAC that is over the legal limit but that is still less than 0.20. If your BAC is over 0.20 as measured by a breathalyzer or 0.25 when it is measured through a urine sample, you will be given a mandatory term in jail of 10 days. If it reaches over .25 or .32, by breath and urine respectively, the minimum jail term will be increased to 15 days. Furthermore, if it is over .30 by breath or .39 by urine, the term is increased by another five days to a total of 20. Regardless of the full term, which could be up to 180 days, you must serve at least the mandatory sentence, even for a first offense.

Further Offenses

If a DUI lawyer is working with you after a second offense, you should know that you could face a fine that is between $2,500 and $5,000. Many second offenders are given the minimum of $2,500, but it is more common for second offenders to get the maximum than it is for first-time offenders. Furthermore, a second offense carries a maximum jail term of one year with a mandatory minimum term of 10 days.

Further offenses will also bring about more penalties that are increasingly strict. For your third offense, the Washington lawyer will tell you that you are facing a potential fine of $10,000 and a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 15 days, though you could be incarcerated for up to a year under § 50-2206.13. Any offenses after your third will carry an additional mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days. The more offenses that you have on your recent record, the more likely it is that you will get the maximum penalties for both fines and jail terms.

Refusing a Breathalyzer

Refusing to prove breath/urine creates additional penalties under the Implied Consent Act. The DC DMV can revoke your license for 1 year regardless of whether you are found guilty for DUI. Prosecutors can use evidence such as performance on field sobriety tests to convict you.

Finding Representation

Regardless of the number of offenses that have occurred, you need to have legal assistance when you go to court to minimize penalties as much as possible. A Washington DC DUI lawyer can help you look over the case so that you can determine how you want to plead or how you want to fight the charges. Get in touch with a professional attorney today to make sure that you have experience on your side. We also have attorneys serving the state of Virginia and Maryland if you have been charged with DUI in those states.