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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Enhanced DUI charges in DC -- and how to fight them

DUI Defense in DC -- how to beat an enhancement charge.

We recently had a jury trial in DC concerning a 2nd DUI. At the sentencing, our firm presented that enhancements should not apply. Essentially, our client obtained his first DUI in VA. DC Code specifies the DUI's only count towards "enhanced" penalty if the offenses occurred in DC. Because our client's first DUI was not in DC, it should not count against the total number of DUI's he has received. That would reduce his sentence from a mandatory jail sentence to no jail required. A significant change. The specific code section can be found at DC Code § 50-2206.11, § 50-2206.12, or § 50-2206.14, which in summary states:

[DC Code 50-2206.11]

No person shall operate or be in physical control of any vehicle in the District:
(1) While the person is intoxicated; or
(2) While the person is under the influence of alcohol or any drug or any combination thereof.

The Supreme Court has held that the plain language of a statute must control. This is not without its challenges, however. The definition section of 50-2206 seems suggest that prior offenses should include other jurisdictions.

For our Firm, Mr. Stephen Salwierak, senior attorney, is presenting the argument and supervising the brief. Ms. Abby Archer, associate attorney, is on the brief and responsible for initial drafting. The argument will be heard in Judge Broderick's courtroom in DC Superior Court on 12 March 2014, prior to sentencing. A copy of the brief will be posted once it has been submitted to the Court.

Do you have a DUI case or question in DC, or Virginia? Contact us! We are trial attorneys well versed in criminal law, and jury trials. We can and do make a difference in the lives of our clients. Contact us at 703-402-2723.

Hanover Law, PC
Offices in Fairfax, VA and Washington, DC Lili O'connell, Esq.
Abby Archer, Esq.
888 16th St., NW Ste 800
Washington, DC 20006
2751 Prosperity Ave, Ste 580
Fairfax, VA 22031
Sean R. Hanover, Esq.
Stephen Salwierak, Esq.
1-800-579-9864 Charles Hatley, Esq.

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