DC DUI Restricted License Lawyer
There are a variety of traffic violations and criminal convictions that can result in driver’s license suspension or revocation in DC. DWI/DUI convictions will result in mandatory license revocation, as can other criminal convictions, if a vehicle was used in the commission of the crime.
Many misdemeanor traffic convictions for offenses like reckless driving and driving without proof of insurance can lead to driver’s license suspension or revocation if you are convicted in court or found guilty of an offense during a DMV administrative hearing.
The length of these punishments will depend on the offense for which you are convicted. Some suspensions can range from a few weeks (temporary suspensions after arrest) to a couple of years. Revocations can be for one year, or indefinitely, though only under extreme circumstances will they be longer than four years. Because of the potential penalties you face, you should enlist the help of a DC DUI restricted license attorney who can help you appeal the restrictions.
Types of DUI Offenses
The following is a list of offenses that may lead to driver’s license suspension or revocation if legal intervention is not taken.
License Revocation Upon Conviction
- Vehicular homicide
- Reckless driving or OWI that leads to an injury accident
- Leaving the scene of an injury accident
- A minor convicted of operating a vehicle while under the influence of any measurable amount of alcohol or drugs
- Any felony involving operation of a motor vehicle
- Possession, manufacture, or distribution of certain controlled substances
License Suspension Upon Conviction or After DMV Hearing
- Negligent driving resulting in death
- Speeding 20+ mph over the posted speed limit
- Certain physical or mental disabilities or illness
- Traffic accident resulting in significant property damage
- Conviction or civil liability for so many offenses that indicates defendant’s disregard for traffic laws or public safety
- Driving without insurance
- Failure to appear at a traffic or DMV hearing
- Reckless driving
- Providing false information for registration and insurance documents
A person can appeal any conviction that results in a mandatory license suspension or revocation through either the municipal court system or a DMV administrative hearing.
In some situations, where an appeal may appear unlikely to prove successful, a person with a suspended or revoked driver’s license can petition the DMV for a modified or restricted driver’s license provided the revocation was not for a DUI or DWI offense.
Restricted licenses allow someone to travel to and from work, school, and other court or DMV approved locations. To be eligible, they must show that a suspended or revoked license would produce extreme hardship and provide proof that they pose no threat to public safety if they were allowed to drive with a restricted license.
Mandatory Suspension After an Arrest
If someone is arrested for DUI, DWI, or OWI offenses, their driver’s license is immediately suspended and they must schedule a hearing, often referred to as a just cause hearing, with the DMV for this suspension to be lifted. They have 10 days to file if they have a DC license and 15 days if the license is from out-of-state. If they do not schedule the hearing, their license remains suspended until their trial is held in District Court.
If they schedule an administrative hearing prior to their DUI trial, their DC DUI lawyer may be able to successfully argue that their license should not be revoked pending the outcome of their criminal trial. This is important for maintaining responsibilities at work and at home, and can also help illustrate their reliability and commitment to the court once their DUI case is heard.
Rolling Back a Revoked License
If you are convicted of DUI and have your license revoked, you may qualify for participation in the DC DMV’s Ignition Interlock Device Program. You or your attorney will be notified shortly before you become eligible to participate. With the help of a lawyer, the application and all the accompanying paperwork is submitted to the DMV, which will determine if you will be allowed to participate in the program.
If approved, you will have to pay for the interlock device to be installed in your vehicle. You will also be subject to several conditions to keep this probationary restrictive driving privilege. The IID Program lasts for up to a year and can be modified or extended if the device stores data that indicates a pattern of trying to drive while intoxicated.
Regardless of the offense that resulted in your license being revoked, once it is time for you to again be licensed to drive you must start the process of establishing your license from scratch. You cannot have your old license back. Therefore, a written exam and driving test must both be passed. Also, any additional conditions attached to reinstatement of license – either by the court or the DMV – must be satisfied.