Getting arrested for a DUI in Washington DC is a serious offense. Penalties for a conviction can include loss of license, higher insurance, fines, and jail time. However, getting arrested is not the same as getting convicted. If you are arrested for a crime, the law presumes you are innocent until proven guilty. However, if you plead guilty and get sentenced or go to trial and are found guilty by a judge or jury, you are no longer innocent. You have been convicted.
Just getting arrested for a DUI can lead to a suspended license and other consequences. However, if your case gets dismissed or you go to trial and are found “not guilty” you will not have a conviction on your record. Because its important to try and avoid a conviction, the following is list of 10 ways to challenge a DC DUI. Keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list, all cases are different, and there are no guarantees any of these strategies will work for your specific case. The point of this article is to demonstrate that there are many options for challenging a DC DUI arrest.
The District of Columbia has notoriously strict gun laws. However, a series of court cases in the Supreme Court and lower federal courts have, to some extent, made obtaining a concealed carry permit feasible. As discussed in previous posts, several important cases have chipped away at the District’s prohibition of the possession of, registration, and carrying of firearms in the city.
The purpose of this post is not to be a treatise on these cases but its important to note the general holdings in these cases. In 2008, the Supreme Court, in Heller, held that the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution applied to the District of Columbia and stated possessing a firearm at home for self-defense was a constitutional right. In reaction to that decision, the City Council passed cumbersome regulatory laws that permitted individuals to register a firearm to possess at home for the purpose of self-defense. Simultaneously, the City Council barred anyone from carrying a pistol outside their home or place of business.
The District of Columbia has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. While federal courts have on several occasions struck down D.C. gun laws, the city still maintains some of the most restrictive policies for gun owners.The District of Columbia has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. While federal courts have on several occasions struck down D.C. gun laws, the city still maintains some of the most restrictive policies for gun owners.
The first step in lawfully possessing a firearm in the District of Columbia is registering it with the Metropolitan Police Department. This must be done at MPD headquarters located at:
For a city dedicated to the admiration of the Constitution and the nation that it founded, Washington, D.C. has a history of having some of the strictest gun laws in the country. It’s protection of the 2nd Amendment Right to Bear Arms has always been heavily regulated and severely enforced. On July 25, 2017, however, the tide seemed to turn when a panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled 2-1 that the “good reason” requirement in obtaining a license to carry a pistol in the District is unconstitutional. The United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, in Wrenn v. District of Columbia, struck down the District’s licensing scheme for obtaining a license to carry a pistol outside the home for self-defense.
Prior to this ruling, citizens had to prove that they had a “good reason” (ie. a job that makes them carry a lot of cash or valuables, or being in a position where one would be targeted) to carry a concealed firearm. Now, if this decisions stands, this might no longer be the case.
The District of Columbia is unique for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that there are dozens of police departments whose officers regularly patrol the city. Between the Metropolitan Police Department, the United States Secret Service, the Metro Transit Police, the United States Park Police, the Capitol Police, the myriad university police forces and more, D.C. residents can practically be pulled over or arrested anywhere by any force at any time. That being said, it is always helpful to have an understanding of the different federal and local police forces which have jurisdiction in Washington, D.C. and to know their jurisdictions. Here is an overview of some of the most prevalent police forces in D.C. who can pull you over and potential arrest you for a DC DUI or DWI:
1. District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD)
The Metropolitan Police, or MPD, is the local police force for the District of Columbia, and its jurisdiction covers the entirety of the District. MPD operates like any other city police department and serves the city as its local police force. MPD is probably the most common agency to make arrests for DUI’s in DC and many of the MPD officers are certified to administer the standardized field sobriety tests and operate breathalyzer machines.
On January 25, 2016, Trump signed two draconian executive orders targeting documented and undocumented immigrants in the United States. There has been much attention regarding the executive orders barring refugees and any citizens’ entry of seven predominately Muslim countries. However, the impact on the criminal justice system regarding immigrants currently in the United States has received far less attention.
The Supreme Court case Padilla v. Kentucky placed an affirmative obligation on criminal defense attorneys to advise immigrant clients about potential immigration consequences for entering into guilty pleas. That seminal case created significant overlap between criminal defense and immigration law. Trump’s recent Executive Orders and their likely impact on the criminal justice system further blur the line between criminal defense and immigration law.
Scrofano Law PC to Offer Pro Bono Services to Peaceful Protesters Arrested During Inauguration Weekend
Scrofano Law PC, a premiere criminal defense and civil rights firm in Washington, DC, will be offering pro bono representation to any peaceful protesters arrested during inauguration weekend.
CONTACT US AT 1-866-701-5450 or 202-765-3175
MENTION INAUGURATION PROTESTS
With several large-scale events and planned protests coinciding with Donald Trump’s inauguration weekend, we believe defending the First Amendment is BIGLY important. As such, we are putting out some helpful information to protesters and offering our services free of charge to anyone arrested for conducting peaceful protest activities that weekend.
According to a recent news article from NBC 4 Washington, an officer of the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) was just arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. The officer was arrested after his supervising officer allegedly noticed a strong odor of alcohol coming from his person during an interaction with this officer that arose as a result of a civilian complaint.
The defendant has been a sworn MPD officer for four years prior to his drunk driving arrest in Washington, DC. When his supervisor smelled the odor of alcohol, he asked the officer to exit his vehicle and subjected him to a series of standardized field sobriety tests (SFTSs). According to a spokesperson for the MPD, this officer allegedly failed the SFSTs, and that, along with additional probable cause, led them to arrest the officer on a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. It is important to understand that this officer has merely been accused of a crime and, like all of us, enjoys the presumption of innocence, unless and until he is found guilty in court after the government proved every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
For family members and loved ones of those arrested can experience intense anxiety, fear, and stress. First and foremost, when someone in DC gets arrested, the police will not likely give accurate information as to where they will take the person. If the police have told you that the person will be taken to Central Cellblock, you can call and find out if that is correct.
Central Cellblock is located next to DC Superior Court at the Metropolitan Police Headquarters.
The contact information for Central Cell Block is:
300 Indiana Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 727-4222
Fax: (202) 727-2230
Managing Partner Joseph Scrofano discusses what folks should look for when hiring an criminal defense lawyer. Many people think there is a single best criminal defense or DUI attorney out there. However, there is no single best criminal defense attorney. Its important to hire someone you are comfortable with who will fight aggressively to protect your rights and get you a good result based on the facts of your case. Experience in the court you are getting charged in is another factor to consider when looking for the right criminal defense or DUI attorney. At Scrofano Law PC, we abide by three core principles: honesty, commitment, and creativity.