Even if you have never been charged with driving while intoxicated in Washington, DC, prosecutors will handle all charges aggressively and vigorously. No matter what the circumstances of your case are, the law enforcement officials will forward on prosecuting every single drunk driving case. The only way to handle your first DUI offense correctly is to hire a leading DC DUI lawyer such as Bruckheim and Patel.
Penalties for First-Time DUI Offenders
For most first-time drunk driving offenders, there is no mandatory jail time. However, if your blood alcohol content was .20 or higher you are eligible for a mandatory minimum ten days of jail time. The maximum penalty you can face for a first DWI offense is 180 days in prison. You can also be eligible for mandatory jail time in case you are caught driving under the influence of drugs. Even if your BAC was below .20, when serious drugs are involved, you may have to go to prison.
First-time drunk driving offenders have some diversion program options available. If your lawyer successfully negotiates with the prosecutors, you may be eligible for the deferred sentencing agreement. This means you will have to plead guilty for your crimes, but your sentencing date will be pushed back for a specified period of time. During this period, you are on probation.
Benefits of Probation Before Judgment
In case you fulfill certain conditions, and don’t get arrested again, your guilty plea can be withdrawn, and your charges may be dismissed. Only a DWI attorney with years of experienced in DC drunk driving defense can grant you probation before judgment. This is very beneficial for the defendant because there is actually no conviction on their record as they were never caught in the first place.
Differed Sentencing Eligibility
Only specific type of cases can make deferred sentencing agreement offers. In order to become eligible to a PBJ, your DUI attorney must negotiate aggressively with prosecutors. The fact is that fewer and fewer people get this type of favorable agreements.
First Time DUI Hearings
Every criminal charge prosecuted under local DC laws is heard in the DC Superior Court. This court of the general jurisdiction in the District handles local criminal cases, civil cases, juvenile matters, family matters and similar. DUI cases in District of Columbia, are almost never handled in the federal court. First, second, third, or fourth time DUI offenses are typically handled in the DC Superior Court.
What Role Does the Judge Play?
Judges have a limited role in DUI cases. They cannot dismiss cases or reduce charges. Only the prosecutors can make such decisions. Judges get involved when case goes to trial and if the prosecutors fail to preserve or turn over certain kinds of evidence. Judges can also be involved in case the defendant’s constitutional rights are violated. However, a judge has the final say on your sentence.
Hire a DUI Attorney
If you want to ensure you reach the most favorable outcome in your case, contact a leading drunk driving lawyer as soon as possible. The only thing you need to do to discuss the options in your case is to schedule a free face to face consultation.