DC DUI and DWI: Frequently Asked Questions (Part III)

This post is the final part in a three part series that answers frequently asked questions for folks arrested for DUI and DWI in the District of Columbia.

What are the chances this case will just get dropped?

Unfortunately, the chances that the DC Attorney General’s Office will drop a DC DUI or DWI is basically zero.  As I have previously stated, the DC OAG treats DUI cases like murder cases.  Whether its the fact that the local government gets more federal money the more DUI convictions they get or because they have such limited jurisdiction to prosecute crimes in DC, I don’t know.  But I can tell you they will not just drop it.  Accordingly, its important you hire an experience DC DUI attorney who will fight to protect your rights.

But what if I blew less than a 0.08 on the breath machine?

Again, unfortunately, the best you can do in that situation is win at trial or get the case dismissed through some other technicality.  The government might offer you a Deferred Sentencing Agreement, which depending on the other facts in the case, may be worth taking.  There are two ways to prove alcohol driving related offenses.  The first is the DWI method, which relies solely on a chemical score above a 0.08 (or 0.10 for a urine test).  The second method is DUI, which is where the government can prove someone was intoxicated by other factors such as poor performance on the SFST’s, slurred speech, and strong odor of alcohol.  Even with a low chemical score, the government will go forward on the case under the DUI method of proof.

Does the officer have to show up to my court date?

The first court date in a DUI prosecution in DC is the arraignment.  The arraignment is just a formal reading of the charges where the attorney will plead not guilty on the defendant’s behalf and assert all constitutional rights.  The officer is not required to show up to that court date.  In fact, the only court date the officer has to show up to is the trial.  In many instances, the case can get dismissed if the officer does not show up (however, some judges may just continue the trial to a different date).  Even if the case gets dismissed, its usually done without prejudice, which means the government can re-bring the case at a later date.  Again, the government is relentless in its DUI prosecutions, which is why its extremely important you hire a DC DUI and DWI attorney who has experience successfully fighting these cases.

What kind of rates does Scrofano Law charge for DC DUI defense?

At Scrofano Law, we only charge flat fees for DUI cases.  The fee will be customized to the facts of each particular case.  For example, cases that involve chemical testing require much more work than a case where the person arrested refused to take a chemical test.  A lot of complicated science is involved in challenging the chemical test.  In addition, a case where someone is a repeat offender makes the case jury demandable.  Again, much more work is involved in preparing for a jury trial than a bench trial in front of a judge.  Bottom line: we customize a flat fee based on the amount of work a case will take–nothing more, nothing less.  Contact us today for a full consultation.