Most people do not realize this, but being arrested for Driving Under the Influence bears heavy consequences. Thus, making it imperative to look for a good DC DUI lawyer to help you minimize the chances of the charges harming you further. Therefore, here are the steps to follow if you have been arrested and charged with a driving under the influence in Washington DC:
1. Find a Lawyer With Local Knowledge
If arrested for a DUI, the first thing you need to do is to look for experienced legal counsel, familiar with local laws. What this means is that for a Washington DC drunk driving arrest, you need to find highly specialized and experienced District of Columbia DUI lawyers. You also want to find legal representation with a strategy to have your case dismissed, or at least having your sentenced reduced. Your attorney may challenge the accuracy of a BAC test, or fight that the police officer did not have probable cause for pulling you over in the first place. You want a local attorney who is well versed on legal strategies that can work in the courtroom.
2. Make a Decision on Whether to Request a Hearing
When arrested for a DUI, the police will give you a form named Notice of Proposed Revocation. This form is filed by the police officer in a majority of DUI cases and will give you an indication of what type of penalties you are facing in The District of Columbia. The report states that you will lose your driving license whether it was issued by DC or by another state. However, there are some cases where the police officer may neglect to issue you this form. If you are issued with this form, your driver’s license will be suspended for at least six months. You can, however, request a hearing at the DC Department of Motor Vehicles to try and have the suspension lifted. If yours is a DC license, you have 10 days to request a hearing and 15 days if it is a license issued by another state. The clock starts ticking from the date you are arrested for the DUI. Therefore, you need to act fast and make the decision to request a hearing to avoid losing your driving privilege.
3. Get a Copy of Your Full Driver’s Record
You also need to get a copy of your full driver’s record. The record should be from every DMV jurisdiction that you have had a driver’s license in the past 12 years, which means that it should go as far back as possible. You should do this because the prosecutors do not know how many DUI offenses you have had, and therefore, they will not assume it is your first one. Your driver’s records will help the prosecution demonstrate whether this is your first DUI charge or you have priors, therefore, helping the judge or magistrate decide whether to suspend your license or not. Also, remember to present your lawyer with this record.
Therefore, if you are facing a charge and asking yourself, “How will I find a DC DUI lawyer near me?” contact us, and we will help you.