Washington DC DUI Lawyer
Getting a DUI in Washington DC can be a stressful event that causes lasting consequences to your life. Attorney Jay P. Myktyiuk is an experienced trial attorney who will fight to protect your rights and to achieve the best possible results based on the facts of your situation. Its important to understand the process involved after getting arrested for DUI in DC. The process is divided into several segments, including the initial traffic stop, the arrest, the arraignment, and the disposition of the case.
Most people who get arrested for DUI in DC are eligible for citation release, which means after getting booked, fingerprinted, and read the implied consent act, the police will release them from the station with a Notice to Return to Court. Some folks who are either on probation or who already have a pending case have to spend the night in jail and see a judge the next afternoon to get released. With a citation release case, you are given a piece of paper with a specific date you must appear in court for your arraignment. For individuals arrested for DUI and held overnight, they appear the next day for their arraignment.
During the arrest, the police will book you, take your fingerprints, and take your mugshot. They will also read you something called the Implied Consent Act, which explains its possible to lose your license for 12 months if you do not submit two chemical tests. Usually, the police will only request a breath sample unless they think the individual is under the influence of drugs. In those cases, the police will typically also request a urine sample. It usually takes about 90 days to get a urine sample back from the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Services. During the reading of the Implied Consent Act, the police may often make it seems like you have no choice but to submit a breath sample.
That is not the case and you should carefully consider whether or not to submit and ask to speak with an experienced DUI attorney before deciding. Most often, the police will not let you speak to a lawyer before deciding but it can help your case to ask politely but assertively for an attorney.
Once released from the station, you will need to figure out what happened to your car. Sometimes the police will tow it while other times they will just park it in a legal spot. You certainly should not retrieve your vehicle until you have completely sobered up. There are other important steps you must take between your arrest and court date.
The first step is to consult with an experienced and qualified DC DUI attorney who can give you advice on how best to proceed before arraignment and tell you what to expect going forward. First and foremost, the lawyer can tell you about the potential penalties for a DUI conviction in DC.
A DUI lawyer in DC can tell you how to interpret any paperwork the police gave you. For most people, they are inexperienced in the criminal justice system and have no idea what to expect. The attorney should advise you that if the officers served on you a Notice of Proposed Revocation, which they are supposed to, you must request a hearing at DMV or your license will be revoked or suspended automatically. If you have a DC license, you must request the hearing within 10 days. If you have an out of state license, then you must request the hearing within 15 days. Whether you will end up losing your license because of a DUI arrest is an incredibly complicated question. A DC DUI lawyer may also advise you to enroll in an outpatient alcohol treatment program or a traffic alcohol program. There are numerous reasons why this step can be beneficial to your DUI case in court.
Once you appear at arraignment, the Judge will impose a series of release conditions. These conditions usually involve things like ordering you not to drive without a valid permit and not to drive after the consumption of drugs and alcohol. In almost all DUI cases now, DC judges will order you to drug test at your arraignment and be assessed for drug or alcohol treatment by the District of Columbia Pretrial Services agency. These conditions can be burdensome and time consuming, so plan accordingly if you have to take time off work for your court date.
You could very easily end up spending all morning at arraignment waiting for your case to get called and then complying wit the Judge’s orders. An experience DC DUI attorney can help prepare you for this situation and tell you what to expect. You should also know that an arraignment is just a formal reading of the charges. The government will provide what is called the initial discovery, which is the police report documents generated from your arrest. Sometimes the government will also have the body worn camera at the arraignment or station house video.
During your arraignment, the Court will set a status hearing anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months from your arraignment. Between the arraignment and the status hearing your attorney should go over the discovery with you, investigate your case, and negotiate with the prosecutor. Plea negotiations with the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia are often difficult. There is only one real option the OAG will give in DC DUI cases and it does not come without a cost. The Deferred Sentencing Agreement (or DSA) is the only diversion type option where the government will agree to dismiss your case if you comply with certain conditions like doing community service, paying fines, and taking alcohol classes.
Attorney Mykytiuk will often set cases for trial where the government will not offer a DSA. Each case, however, is different and many factors can influence whether you should go to trial or take a plea in a DUI case. When going to trial in a DUI case, sometimes judges may dismiss cases on a technicality like if the government failed to preserve video evidence. In some cases, if the officer fails to show up for trial, the Court may dismiss the case.
For first time DUI offenders that go to trial, a judge not a jury will decide if the person is guilty or not guilty. And if convicted either by pleading guilty or being found guilty, there are a number of collateral consequences for a DUI conviction.
From start to finish, a DUI case in DC is extremely serious and carries significant consequences and penalties. To navigate the criminal justice system, you need someone who will fight to protect your rights, is not afraid to go trial, and will advise you every step of the way. If you or a friend or loved one has been arrested for DUI in DC, contact Jay P. Myktyiuk today for a full case evaluation.