At Scrofano Law PC, we provide aggressive DUI defense in all cases. Driving under the influence (or “DUI”) is one of the most common criminal offenses committed and it has some of the worst consequences for those convicted. It is the only misdemeanor in the District of Columbia that carries mandatory minimum jail time under certain factual scenarios.
In DC, the crime of DUI carries a maximum penalty of 180 days and/or $1,000.00 fine. However, many judges will give DUI offenders probation even if convicted—except when the law imposes mandatory minimum jail time.
Second offense DUI’s carry a ten-day mandatory minimum sentence. Breath or blood scores above .20 carry mandatory minimum jail time as do urine scores above .25. If someone has a schedule I drug in their system, then the penalty includes a mandatory minimum 15 days in jail as well. Conviction for DUI carries 12 points and consequently the loss of one’s license with the DC DMV or the loss of driving privileges in DC for an out of state license holder.
Operating while Impaired (or “OWI”), which is a lesser offense than DUI, carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. The consequences of an OWI conviction are similar. Some consequences include loss of license for six months to one year, skyrocketing car insurance rates, and in some cases mandatory jail time.
At Scrofano Law PC, we have a simple philosophy when it comes to DUI arrests. The only way to win is to fight your case. If you plead guilty, you will lose. The Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia prosecutes DUI’s in DC. That office refuses to give plea offers for Reckless Driving in DUI cases and they have almost impossible to meet criteria for diversion in DUI cases. Accordingly, they usually extend the same offer in every DUI case regardless of a person’s criminal history. If there are no mandatory minimums, the prosecutor usually extends an offer to plead guilty to the DUI and they won’t oppose probation. If the facts trigger mandatory minimum jail time (for example a second offense or high chemical scores), they’ll ask for the mandatory jail time plus probation.
The secret many DC DUI lawyers don’t want you to know is that most judges in DC Superior Court will give that exact sentence for a DUI offender with limited or no criminal history. The OAG, therefore, gives a disincentive to plead guilty. Of course, every case is different but the OAG applies this policy uniformly. While many DC DUI lawyers will encourage their clients to plead guilty so that the firm can save time and money, Scrofano Law PC does not. We provide honest, straightforward advice to our client and work hard to achieve the best result possible—regardless of the firm’s bottom line. We put results over profit.
At Scrofano Law PC, we can advise you as to what to expect every step of the way in a DC DUI case. We will fight aggressively for your rights, and we will never pressure you to plead guilty. For more information, check out our DC DUI Frequently Asked Questions.
Contact Scrofano Law PC today for a full consultation.