Understanding Your Options in a DUI Case

- Lotze Mosley

A member of the County Council in Prince George’s County was recently charged with driving under the influence after rear-ending another vehicle. According to police reports, the Councilman, Mel Franklin, took a breath test and was found to have a blood-alcohol content of 0.10. The legal limit for a per se DUI charge is 0.08.

Types of Cases

When the police arrived on the scene, the councilman was found to be walking along the highway, approximately 70 yards from the car. Allegedly, he had left his car after hitting the other vehicle and began walking away from the scene. If you believe that Mr. Franklin is guilty, based on this information, you may want to talk to an experienced DUI attorney. Though this case appears to be open and closed, there are many details that may result in Mr. Franklin being found not guilty. It is only through a detailed analysis of a DUI case that we can begin to understand a person’s options in these types of cases and how they can be fought.

Understand Your Case Before Taking a Plea

You should always consult with your attorney to help you understand your options in a DUI case. Often, there will be multiple plea options and possibly diversion opportunities that your attorney can try to obtain on your behalf. These include things such as deferred sentence agreements for first offenses or pleas to reduced charges such as reckless driving.

Though deferred sentencing agreements are only offered in a few cases, they provide defendants with an excellent opportunity to resolve a case in a way that will allow the person to withdraw a conviction after completing alcohol treatment, thereby removing the conviction from his record.

Alternatively, because pleas to deferred sentences or reduced charges are rarely offered, they sometimes serve as a signal to a defense attorney that there is a problem with a particular case.

For example, an individual may be offered a breath test and have blown a 0.10 but, unknown to the defendant, the machine that was used to analyze the breath was faulty. As a result, the prosecutor knows that he has a bad case but may not have shared this information with the defendant. This problem can and does occur, but experienced attorneys know how to spot these types of issues and can protect you from entering into a plea bargain prematurely.

Though problems with breathalyzers are uncommon, I have used this example to highlight the importance of talking to a DUI defense attorney before taking a plea so that you understand your case and all of your options before locking yourself into a plea that you may regret.

Experienced attorneys know how to analyze cases and know where to look for potential problems in the prosecutor’s cases. By speaking with a DUI attorney, you gain insight into the DUI process and the potential places where the police may have made mistakes. If you have been charged with a DUI in Washington DC, Lotze Mosley can help you better understand your options. We offer free consultations and can be reached at (202) 393-0535.