If you have been recently arrested for intoxicated driving, it is helpful to be aware of the potential DC DUI jail penalties, including the booking process and potential consequences of DC drunk driving charges. If you are facing intoxicated driving charges in the DC area, a criminal defense attorney may be able to help.
The District of Columbia is not a bail jurisdiction, therefore an individual cannot be released on bail following an arrest. After an individual is arrested, they are taken to the local police district, the US Capitol Police or US Park Police station. They are then booked, fingerprinted, and photographed. Additionally, they might be asked to take a breathalyzer or other chemical test.
Following this process, the accused is released from the station and may be given a citation to return to court a week later. An alternative outcome may be to take the accused to the Central Cellblock of DC and then to court. Once they appear in court, release conditions are sent to them, or they are held for further hearing without bail.
The potential penalty for a first time DUI is up to 180 days in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, or both. The penalties increase with each consecutive drunk driving charge in DC.
Repeat DUI offenses may escalate the potential for mandatory DC DUI jail penalties, fines and the maximum that an individual could receive. Under no circumstances does the maximum penalty for a DUI in the District of Columbia exceed one year in jail.
A mandatory minimum sentence cannot be lowered by a judge. Someone convicted of a specific charge with a mandatory minimum sentence must serve that sentence. In other words, the prosecutor, judge, and defense lawyer do not have the discretion to dismiss or minimize the offense.
For example, if an individual charged with a first offense DUI is found guilty and convicted of having a breath alcohol content or blood alcohol content of 0.2 or over, there is a mandatory five-day DC drunk driving jail time with no discretion.
The minimum amount of jail time for intoxicated driving is zero. For a first time DC DUI, an individual is probation eligible unless a sentence enhancement applies. Depending on the circumstances, there might be times that a mandatory minimum sentence kicks in, such as a situation where someone is convicted of a second DUI within 15 years. In that case, a mandatory minimum sentence applies.
The maximum sentence on a first time DC DUI jail penalties is up to 180 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. For second, third, and fourth offenses, the maximum amount of time an individual could be held is up to one year in jail. The mandatory minimum also increases the fine.
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