Articles Posted in OAG

In the District of Columbia, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is responsible for prosecuting DUIs and it takes this job very seriously. While other jurisdictions routinely offer favorable deals for DUI offenders, DC rarely does. What that means is that often times you would be no better off pleading guilty than you would be if you took the case to trial and lost. Your best bet at beating a DUI conviction is going to trial and holding the government to its burden of proof.  To be convicted of a DUI, the government must prove that you were (1) operating a motor vehicle (2) while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. While two elements may not seem like much to prove for the government, there are numerous ways to challenge the evidence against you on both elements.

The first element of the DUI offense is the trickiest element to challenge because DC law has a broad definition of what it means to operate a motor vehicle. Operate is defined as actual physical control over the vehicle. Physical control means capable of putting the vehicle into movement or preventing movement. If you were pulled over and the police witnessed you driving, it is hard to say you were not operating the vehicle.

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need-for-speed-1397111-mAs previously mentioned, the District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General (“OAG”) prosecutes alcohol related traffic offenses.  These offenses include Driving under the Influence (“DUI”), Driving while Intoxicated (“DWI”), and Operating while Impaired (“OWI”).  These crimes are essentially the most serious crimes the OAG has jurisdiction over.  If you are arrested for DUI, the government will likely charge you with DUI and OWI.  OWI is sort of like a lesser offense to DUI.  You cannot be convicted and sentenced for both DUI and OWI.

The OAG operates with near uniform policies related to DUI plea negotiations.  In fact, a good DC DWI lawyer can usually predict what plea offer the OAG will extend before the prosecutor actually extends the offer.  For a typical first offender DUI, the OAG will offer plea to the DUI, dismiss the OWI, and the government will recommend a suspended sentence, one year probation, and a series of alcohol related classes and fines.  An overwhelming number of DC DUI cases receive this exact plea offer.  For this type of offer, there is almost no incentive to accept the plea offer.

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