Navigating DC DUI and DWI Charges in Washington, DC With Skilled Attorneys

Driving under the influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) are some of the most commonly charged criminal offenses and can have severe consequences for those convicted. In Washington, DC, DUI carries a maximum penalty of up to 180 days in jail and is the only misdemeanor that carries mandatory minimum jail time under certain scenarios. Collateral consequences include losing your driver’s license and paying higher car insurance premiums.

It is absolutely crucial to have an experienced Washington, DC DUI and DWI attorney represent you if you have been charged with driving while impaired, driving under the influence, operating while impaired or related drunk driving offenses in Washington, DC.

An experienced DUI and DWI lawyer can assess your case’s strengths and weaknesses, negotiate with the prosecution, and provide guidance throughout the legal process. They can challenge evidence, negotiate plea deals, and represent you in court to get you the best possible outcome for your circumstances.

The criminal defense attorneys at Monument Legal have the courtroom-tested legal experience needed to defend you against DUI, DWI and OWI charges and tenaciously fight for the best possible results in your case.

Stop delaying and schedule a consult. Find out what you’re facing in a complimentary consultation with an experienced Washington, DC DUI and DWI attorney and rest easier tonight!

Frequently Asked Questions

DC law distinguishes between DUI and OWI:

  • DUI: Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • OWI: Operating While Impaired, a lesser charge than DUI.

Every person arrested for drunk driving is charged with both offenses, and the proof for both charges is very similar. In some circumstances, especially for out-of-state drivers, an OWI conviction will not carry the same collateral consequences as a DUI conviction.

In Washington, DC, penalties for a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) conviction can vary depending on factors like prior offenses and the level of intoxication. These penalties may include:

  • Jail Time: Up to 180 days.
  • Fine: Up to $1,000.00
  • License Suspension: Up to 6 months or 12 months for refusing the breath test.
  • Completion of substance abuse and traffic programs.
  • Installation of ignition interlock on your vehicle.

These penalties can vary depending on factors such as blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level, any aggravating circumstances, and the discretion of the court. However, your odds of a favorable outcome increase if you are facing your first DUI. While the specific facts and circumstances of your case will impact the end result, prosecutors are much more likely to offer favorable plea agreements and diversion programs to first-time offenders.

DC law imposes mandatory minimum jail sentences for repeat DUI offenders. Second offenses carry 10 days of mandatory time, third offenses carry 15 days, and fourth or more carry 30 days. Our lawyers know that no one wants to do even a single day in jail, and we are creative in finding ways to avoid mandatory jail time for our clients.

Often referred to as “baby DUIs,” minors charged with drinking and driving are treated differently those over 21 years of age. While the legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit for adults is .08, minors who operate a vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol in their systems are guilty of DUI under DC law. Because they are under 25, however, minors may be eligible for diversion under the Youth Rehabilitation Act (YRA).

Driving under the influence of marijuana is treated no differently under the law than DUI alcohol. However, since marijuana affects the body differently than alcohol, it can be more challenging for officers to investigate marijuana-related DUIs and harder for prosecutors to prove in court.

Refusing to take the breathalyzer test does not have any additional criminal penalties in a DUI case. In fact, without a BAC result, prosecutors may have a more difficult time proving that a defendant is guilty of DUI. The downside, however, is that the DC DMV will revoke your driver’s license for an additional six months if the arresting officer can prove that you refused the breath test.

Diversion is an agreement that your Washington, DC DUI attorney can negotiate with the assigned prosecutor. In DUI matters there are generally two forms of diversions available. The first, and most common, is the Deferred Sentencing Agreement. The second, is the Deferred Prosecution Agreement. Both types of agreements may result in your case being dismissed. Typically, these agreements require you to complete community service and DUI-related traffic programs. Both agreements may have a direct impact on your driving privileges, security clearances or even immigration status. Make sure to discuss these options with your attorney.

In Washington, DC, to convict someone of a DUI (Driving Under the Influence), the prosecutor typically needs to prove several elements beyond a reasonable doubt. These elements usually include:

  • Operation of a Vehicle: The prosecutor must demonstrate that the defendant was operating or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This can be proven through various means, such as witness testimony, police observations, or the defendant’s own statements.
  • Impairment: The prosecutor must establish that the defendant’s ability to operate the vehicle safely was impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. This can be demonstrated through evidence such as field sobriety tests, breathalyzer results, blood tests, or officer observations of the defendant’s behavior.
  • Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC): In Washington, DC, there is a legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If the defendant’s BAC exceeds this limit (which is typically 0.08% for adults), it can serve as evidence of impairment. BAC can be determined through breathalyzer tests, blood tests, or urine tests.
  • Drugs: The presence of drugs in your system, detected through a blood or urine test will be strong evidence of DUI. Certain Schedule I drugs will trigger a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 days in jail if you are convicted.

Any DUI, DWI or OWI conviction will cause a driver with a CDL to lose their license. In addition, entering into a Deferred Sentencing Agreement (DSA) can also cause you to lose your CDL and potentially your employment. There are creative ways your Washington, DC DUI attorney can assist in avoiding this outcome. If you have a CDL and are arrested on DUI charges in Washington, DC contact a DUI defense attorney immediately.

  • Knowledge of the law: They understand DUI laws and recent updates.
  • Investigation: They review evidence and look for weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
  • Negotiation skills: They can negotiate with the prosecution for reduced charges, diversion programs, or plea deals.
  • Courtroom experience: They have experience presenting cases and defending clients in court. In addition, they regularly work in front of the same judges and with the same assigned prosecutors.
  • Support and guidance: They provide support throughout the legal process and answer all of your questions along the way.
Consult with a DC DUI Lawyer

Consult with a DC DUI Lawyer

If you or a loved one, are facing DUI charges in Washington, DC, consulting with an experienced DUI lawyer is essential. An experienced DUI trial attorney can help you understand your options, build a defense strategy, and navigate the legal system effectively. Contact Monument Legal today for a consultation and personalized legal assistance tailored to your case.

Why Choose Monument Legal?

We have extensive experience handling DUI charges, and are familiar with the judges and the prosecutors. In addition, we will be by your side every step of the way, keeping you informed, answering your questions, and addressing your concerns. Our one goal in every case is to get our clients the best possible outcome. We care about your case and we care about you.

Monument Legal consistently provides excellent results for their clients, including:

  • Diversion agreements
  • No jail for repeat offenders
  • Not guilty verdicts