If you are charged with a DUI or DWI in Washington, DC, your case will involve two different types of proceedings:

The first is in D.C. Superior Court. Here you can choose whether to plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. If you choose to go to trial, depending on the specific charge, you can have a bench trial or a jury trial. If convicted, you can face a sentence of jail time, a fine, or other punishments, as determined by the judge.

The second is an administrative hearing at the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Here, the Administrative Judge will determine whether you lose your license, are required to get high-risk insurance (SR-22), and if you will have to pay a fine. You must request a hearing at the DMV in order to prevent your driver’s license from being suspended pending your criminal case, whether or not your license was issued by the District.

Clark Law defends anyone facing drunk driving charges in Washington, DC, both in D.C. Superior Court and in the administrative hearing. You want the best defense possible in order to retain your driving privileges and avoid jail time.

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Reckless driving/speed over 30mph over limit

Reckless driving in the District of Columbia is described in D.C. Code § 50–2201.04. This law describes two crimes:

  1. Reckless driving is described as driving on a highway carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard for the rights or safety of others, or without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger a person or property. This is a law in which there are various ways to actually commit the crime. 

  2. Aggravated reckless driving, which can be committed in one of three ways:

    1. Driving 30 or more miles per hour over the speed limit

    2. Causing bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to someone

    3. Causing damage amounting to over $1000 to property

Aggravated reckless driving is not open to interpretation. The real question is whether the requirements were satisfied or not. 

Both reckless driving and aggravated reckless driving are serious charges. For the first offense, the maximum penalty is 90 days in jail, $500 fine, or both. For the second offense, the penalty is even more severe, at 180 days in jail, $1000 fine, or both. If someone receives a third conviction for reckless driving or aggravated reckless driving within a 2 year period, they face a maximum penalty of one year in jail, $2,500 fine, or both.

These criminal penalties are in addition to any consequences that may be imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

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