DWI Attorney DC
If you’ve recently been charged with DWI (driving while intoxicated), you may be searching for a top DWI attorney DC has to offer. At The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C., we understand that responsible people can make mistakes. While the seriousness of a drunk driving incident should not be downplayed, a driver who is charged with DWI deserves fair and competent legal counsel from a trusted source. The team of lawyers at The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. has provided such counsel to many clients who have faced DWI charges.
As an experienced DWI attorney DC can provide would likely explain, it’s important for anyone facing this charge to understand what may happen in a DWI case. Although it is important to keep in mind that every person’s case is unique, here is a quick look at some elements that typically come into play in a DWI case.
There are several details in an arrest that could potentially impact the entire case substantially, making it important to understand what these details are. First, drivers should be aware that they may face harsher penalties if they refuse to take a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) level test. This test is most often administered initially as a breathalyzer test on the scene, but drivers have the right to request a chemical test conducted at a medical facility.
Second, as with any arrest, law enforcement officials must recite the individual’s basic rights. When these rights are not read to the individual placed under arrest, the court may throw out the entire case. Standard procedural elements such as this can greatly affect a case. If you believe that any of your rights have been violated, it may be wise to speak with a Washington, DC DWI attorney about your situation.
Options After a DWI Charge
As with other criminal charges, the defendant charged with the crime can contest the charges or plead guilty. All states have determined that the legal BAC limit for drivers is .08%, and any individual driving with a BAC at or above this level may be arrested. In certain circumstances, such as with commercial truck drivers or drivers under the age of 21, the state’s “legal limit” may be even lower.
An experienced DWI attorney DC can provide might attest that it can be very difficult for the defendant to win his or her case if the BAC level was above the limit at the time of the arrest. If the defendant’s BAC level was below .08%, there may be a higher chance that a skilled DWI attorney in DC could get the charges reduced, or dropped. Lesser charges can mean lighter penalties in certain cases.
What are the general financial costs of a DWI?
If you have been charged with a DWI, or any other related offense, you might not understand the financial repercussions, especially if this is your first time with this charge. Although the costs of this type of offense varies greatly from one state to another and one case to the next, the average case, with no mitigating circumstances can cost a person between $5000 and $20,000 or more. To get a better understanding of what your DWI charge might cost you now and into the future, you should call a DWI attorney DC residents trust.
The Associated Costs of a DWI
Any DWI or related conviction is very expensive. You may expect court costs, fines, increased insurance rates, lost productivity, and more. In fact, a DWI charge in most states is so expensive that you could take a taxi across the U.S. and back.
The following is a general estimation of the expenses you may incur for your first DWI offense. These figures are in the ballpark range and based upon average statistics and reports. The actual costs will vary, especially if this is not your first DWI or there are mitigating factors (i.e. you were in an accident).
- Bail – You may be released from jail on bail for anywhere between $100 and $3,000 or more.
- Impound and Towing – Following your arrest, your car will be towed and impounded. This can cost between $100 and $1,500.
- Legal Fees – If you have chosen to retain a DWI lawyer, and you should, you might expect to pay between $1500 and $6,000 or more. Even if you retain a public defender, you may have to pay some of the legal fees, unless you can prove financial hardship.
- Fines – The court may order you to pay various fines which could cost anywhere from $150 to $2,000 or more. In addition to court fines, you may have to pay for you stay in jail which might cost $10 to $300 per day, sentencing fees: $100 – $300, and probation fees: $150 to $1,500.
- Drug Or Urine Tests – If you have been ordered to undergo drug screenings as a condition of your bail or probation, you will need to pay for these services. Fees for a drug test vary greatly, but may cost between $30 and $200.
- Community Service Supervision – Sometimes you will be ordered to perform community service. Depending on the jurisdiction you may be asked to pay for the supervision fees which are usually not much, but may cost around $100 – $150.
- Driver Responsibility Fees – Certain states have driver responsibility fees. These are not the same fees that are paid to the state, and are in addition to your fines. These fees tend to be costly, varying from $1,000 and $3,000.
- Educational Classes – Nearly all those who are convicted of a DWI will be required to participate in treatment or classes related to alcohol abuse. Some of these classes are free, but most do require a payment. Treatment or education may cost you $500 – $4,000 or more.
- Ignition Interlock Devices – First time offenders may not be required to install an ignition interlock device, but nearly all states will mandate repeat offenders to do so. This expense may run $500 to $2,000.
- Drivers License Fees – If your driver’s license is suspended, which it might be, you may have to pay $20 to $250 to have it reinstated.
- Insurance – Following your DWI, you can expect your insurance company to consider you a high risk driver. As a result, they may increase your premium to another $1,000 to $10,000 over the course of several years.
- Alternative Transport – Usually for the first 30 to 180 days after a convicted DWI or DUI you will not be able to drive. This means you will need to use alternative transportation. If you have to use taxis, rideshares, buses, or pay others for gas, you might pay anywhere between $100 and $1,000 during this period of time.
Based on the above, you can see how expensive a DWI may be. Even on the low side, $10,000 is pretty average. These estimates don’t take into consideration lost wages, property damage, and so forth.
What a DC DWI Attorney Can Do for You
A DWI attorney in Washington, DC can be a valuable ally in your fight against a DWI. A DWI can be expensive, and has the potential to cause hardship for years – or even decades. Not counting the financial cost, you might find it harder to find employment, security clearances, or even housing. The monetary impact of a DWI conviction is just the tip of a very large iceberg, but fortunately you won’t have to face these challenges alone.
An accomplished DWI attorney from the Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. can help you get through your DWI. It can be overwhelming to face these charges, especially if it’s your first time. That’s why we’re committed to walking our clients through the whole process, so you’ll never be in the dark about what comes next.
In addition to keeping you informed and updated, our main objective is to have your charges dismissed or reduced. This means carrying out a thorough investigation of your case, and scrutinizing everything from your traffic stop to the police report and associated procedures. At the Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, we know how much an impact a DWI case can have on your life, so we take extra steps to build a solid defense. This includes:
- Challenging your breathalyzer results. Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia all have “implied consent” rules: when you are issued a drivers’ license, you automatically consent to taking a breathalyzer test if and when a police officer suspects you are driving under the influence. This means if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, your license may be suspended. However, accomplished DWI attorneys in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia also know that breathalyzers are not 100% accurate. At Frederick J. Brynn, we’re committed to ensuring only accurate information is considered in your case, which means scrutinizing the reliability of your breathalyzer test.
- Finding mistakes in police procedure. Everyone makes mistakes, and this certainly extends to law enforcement. An arresting officer must be able to provide evidence that you were driving while intoxicated – this includes compiling evidence and showing reasonable grounds for your arrest. If the arresting officer failed to read you your rights, your case may be dismissed altogether. A DWI attorney can investigate and find other flaws in the procedures carried out by the police in order to further reduce charges you may be facing.
- Giving you a voice and fair representation. When considering the facts of a DWI, it can be easy to lose the human story behind the case. At the Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C., we strive to make sure your story is told in full: you have a future worth protecting, and a life worth living. It’s important to communicate that you’re more than just hard data, and when we build a defense, we take your personal story into consideration.
You don’t have to face DWI charges alone. A DC DWI attorney can help you navigate the legal process, and is a valuable ally to have in your corner when you’re facing financial hardship and other years-long difficulties that can result from a DWI. At the Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C., we’re ready to help.
Don’t delay. Being proactive is your first line of defense against a DWI, and the sooner you get in touch with experienced DWI attorney in DC, the better your chances are of getting your charges reduced, or dismissed altogether. Get your life back, and contact and experienced DWI attorney as soon as possible.
Talk with a DWI Attorney DC Can Depend On
At The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C., we understand that accidents can happen to anyone. People make mistakes, but there’s no reason why this should affect a person’s life for years, if not decades, to come. To speak with a competent DWI attorney DC residents trust about your own case, contact our firm today.
Important Characteristics to Look for in a DWI Attorney
If you have been charged with a DWI, one of the first things you should do is hire a DWI attorney in DC. However, finding the right attorney can be tricky. Here are a few important characteristics to look for in a DWI attorney.
- Specific experience. The person you hire to represent your DWI case should not just be a criminal attorney. He or she should also have extensive experience handling DWI cases. DWI laws are constantly changing and can vary by state, so it is critical to work with an attorney who stays up-to-date on them. If your attorney has experience with previous DWI cases, he or she is more likely to help you get a favorable outcome with your case.
- Honest. It is very important to work with a DWI attorney who will always tell you the truth, even if you don’t want to hear it initially. An attorney won’t do you any favors by sugarcoating the situation. For example, if you have previous DUI convictions on your record and your attorney believes there is a good chance that you may have to spend some time in jail, he or she should tell you that right away. It’s better to know now than to be surprised later.
- Empathetic. Facing a DWI charge can be very difficult. You’re afraid of the possibility of going to jail and having a permanent criminal record. This can weigh on you emotionally. That is why it is important to work with an attorney who shows empathy. He or she should understand what a difficult situation you’re in and always be on your side.
- Communicative. A DWI attorney should also possess excellent communication skills. There may be some legal terms that you may not understand at first. It’s your lawyer’s job to explain those terms in language you can understand. He or she should also give you detailed answers to your questions and return your phone calls in a timely manner.
- Trial experience. The majority of DWI cases get settled out of court. However, if it would be in your best interests to take your case to trial, you’ll want to work with an attorney who has plenty of trial experience. He or she should feel confident stepping into a courtroom and defending your case in front of a jury.
When you’ve been charged or arrested on the suspicion of a DWI, it’s important to find a trustworthy DWI attorney DC has to offer to drivers. Because the arrest process may be complex and rather quick, the sooner you have a lawyer on your side, the better the outcome of your case may be.
The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. is a dedicated law firm equipped with years of experience in protecting and fighting for the rights of the criminally accused. If you or a family member is in need of immediate legal advice, please call a DC DWI attorney now.
I’m facing DWI charges. What are the penalties?
In general, the court will listen to your plea and take into consideration the nature of your charge(s), your blood alcohol content (BAC) level, and any previous record. With this information in consideration, penalties could include large fines, probation, license suspension, court-ordered classes or treatment, community service, tethering, testing, jail time, and more. In very serious cases, long-term prison sentences may be given to a convicted defendant.
Some states take additional measures to ensure that convicted drivers (especially repeat offenders) do not get behind the wheel and drive drunk again. These states may completely revoke a person’s license, cancel the individual’s vehicle registration, or install an ignition interlock device. These devices act as small breathalyzers and require the driver to blow into the device before starting the car; if the driver’s BAC registers above a certain level, the car will not turn on.
Apart from the penalties ordered by a court, there may be short- and long-term consequences for a DWI conviction. These consequences could impact your personal life, career, family, and more. To defend yourself against future limitations and regretful repercussions, consider enlisting the help of a seasoned DWI attorney in DC.
I am being accused of DWI. Will I go to jail?
Every case is different, but jail time could be a possibility if you’ve been charged with a DWI. This is especially true when aggravating factors are involved, such as multiple offenses, injuries, and accidents. By having a DWI attorney DC trusts on your side, it may be possible to keep you out of jail.
I’m under the legal age and was caught drinking and driving. What should I do?
For young drivers under the age of 21, they may be facing additional charges for consuming alcohol. Some states consider the legal limit to be a BAC of 0.02% for drivers under 21; other states may penalize drivers under 21 who have any amount of alcohol in their blood. DC enforces a zero-tolerance policy for individuals under the age of 21 who have been charged with a DWI. This means you could be charged and subjected to similar penalties even if your BAC level was below .08%. If you’ve been charged with DWI and you’re under 21, it can be even more important to hire a skilled DWI attorney DC provides.
What happens if a police officer unlawfully pulls you over or violates your rights?
If you suspect that your rights were somehow violated, it’s advisable to speak with a DWI attorney DC can provide as soon as possible. If your rights were violated at any point during your arrest, your case might be thrown out in court. This may even apply to a situation where the arresting police officer did not have probable cause to pull you over. If a police officer sees suspicious driving activity (like swerving between lanes) or another traffic violation (such as not wearing a seatbelt), that officer may pull over the driver and request that he/she takes a breathalyzer test. If an officer did not have a valid reason to pull over a driver in the first place, a skilled DWI attorney DC deserves may be able to have the charges dropped completely.
Are DWI checkpoints legal?
In many cases, these checkpoints are legal as long the police officers on duty are following the necessary protocols. For starters, police officers must have a valid reason to set up a checkpoint at a certain place, and they may only operate the checkpoint at a pre-specified time and date. Furthermore, they must make this information public. There must also be a pre-determined system for stopping cars, such as stopping every one out of three cars that pass through.
However, the legality of these checkpoints is still contested quite often, as a DWI attorney in DC might attest. A police violation of the regulations could invalidate a driver’s charges. If you were arrested at a checkpoint and you believe you were stopped unlawfully, contact a DWI attorney DC drivers trust for counsel about your specific case.
If I failed a BAC, am I automatically considered guilty?
Not necessarily. A BAC test does not necessarily indicate intoxication while driving. Breathalyzer tests sometimes give false readings because of misuse or improper maintenance. A DWI attorney DC provides may assess this evidence to determine whether or not there were any wrongdoings made by the authorities. An attorney may also investigate if your rights were violated in any way whatsoever. If this turns out to be true, you charges could be reduced or dropped.
Is it better to just plead guilty to a DWI charge?
If you’ve been arrested for DWI, it may not be wise to plead guilty right away even if you think there’s substantial evidence against you. Rather than pleading guilty, contact a DWI attorney DC drivers depend on for counsel on how to proceed. An experienced lawyer may discover some reason why your arrest was unlawful or some reason why a piece of evidence is inadmissible in court. If your charges cannot be dropped, a DC DWI attorney might be able to get your charges or penalties reduced. Even a small reduction in charges can make a big difference.
Can I fight my own DWI charges?
If you do not understand the vast, complex laws encompassing DWIs, handling these legal matters on your own could be risky. By entrusting your case with a DWI attorney DC respects, you can feel confident in knowing your rights and your future are being taken into consideration. With the correct tactics, the most favorable outcome may be secured.
When can the police pull over someone they suspect is drunk driving?
A DWI attorney DC residents depend on, such as one from The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C., has likely provided counsel in a variety of drunk driving cases. It’s possible, for some clients facing drunk driving charges, that law enforcement had no legitimate reason to pull them over in the first place. This lack of a legitimate traffic stop, which led to their DWI arrest, could therefore make the entire case invalid.
However, it may be surprising to learn that police typically consider certain determinants before they decide to stop a driver. At The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C., we believe information is key. It is important for the person facing DWI charges and their DC DWI attorney to examine those determinants before a criminal trial begins in order to prepare a solid legal defense.
What Signs Do Law Enforcement Watch For?
An experienced DWI attorney in DC understands that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed certain determinants for drunk driving detection. Police officers may use these determinants when deciding whether or not to pull over a driver. It is these determinants which will validate whether the officer had probable cause to order the driver to stop their vehicle. A DWI attorney DC can provide could handle many cases where clients are found not guilty or have their charges dismissed because law enforcement failed to abide by the NHTSA determinants.
According to the NHTSA, these determinants should be followed in a three-stage process:
- The observation by law enforcement of the vehicle when it is moving;
- How the driver behaves once the vehicle has been stopped; and
- The driver’s performance of field sobriety tests during the stop.
What Justifies a Suspected DWI Traffic Stop?
The NHTSA instructs law enforcement to watch for certain driving behaviors as an indicator of a possible impaired driver. These behaviors include:
- Failure to use headlights while driving during nighttime hours
- Following too closely to the vehicle in front
- Quick or sudden acceleration or deceleration
- The vehicle is drifting or swerving into other lanes
- The vehicle is moving 10 or more miles per hour below the posted speed limit
- The vehicle is straddling the median line
- The vehicle suddenly stops in the middle of the street
Once a police officer stops the driver, there are other indicators the NHTSA advises that may mean the driver has been drinking. These include:
- Bloodshot or watery eyes
- Inconsistent responses to the officer’s questions
- Lack of eye/hand/foot coordination
- Odor of alcohol
- Odor of mints that have been used to cover the odor of alcohol
- Slurred speech
If the officer thinks any of these signs are present, the driver may then be asked to step out from their vehicle in order to perform a series of field sobriety tests. These tests may include walking a straight line heel to toe, standing on one leg while counting, and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test (HGN). Although these tests may appear to be straightforward, a skilled DWI attorney DC clients trust may be able to challenge the results of any one of these tests, as well as any of the determinants the officer felt warranted a traffic stop.
When you speak with Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. for a free consultation, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. To make an appointment with a DWI attorney DC offers please call (202) 888-0953.