Many DUI/DWI offenders are first-time offenders who are usually responsible people in their daily lives. They “felt fine” to drive after drinking and did not realize just how they were putting themselves and others at risk.
The law, however, is very strict on DUI, especially in the District of Columbia. Even a first-time DUI conviction carries with it the potential for up to 180 days of jail time and up to $1,000 in fines, with possible mandatory incarceration of 10-20 days depending on blood alcohol content (BAC). You will also automatically have your driver’s license suspended. The punishments only get higher with further offenses, going up to 1 year in jail and a fine between $2,500 and $10,000 for a 3rd or subsequent offense.
It is also important to understand that the BAC required to get you in trouble for DUI is very low. While the legal limit for BAC in DC is 0.08, at which point you are considered legally intoxicated, penalties—including mandatory jail times—start applying from as low as 0.02 BAC. For the average person, a BAC of 0.08 is the result of 2-4 drinks, while a BAC of 0.02 can result from just one drink. It can be very easy to say “I’ve just had one drink, it’s fine!”, but it is that sort of thinking that can land you in big trouble with the law. DC has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drinking and getting behind the wheel.
The zero-tolerance policy is especially true for underage drinkers. If anyone underage is caught with any amount of alcohol in their system while driving, they are immediately on the hook for a DWI offense. DC does not like its drivers to drive with any amount of alcohol in their systems and will punish accordingly.
If you have been charged with DUI or DWI, it is essential that you seek out experienced and aggressive legal representation to help you. Do not try to go it alone, even if the incident is your first offense. While it is quite possible to get a first-time DUI/DWI dismissed or have the punishment be diverted to an alcohol education program or community service instead of jail time, doing so requires knowledge of the proper court procedure and the limits acceptable to a particular judge and prosecutor. Remember, you can go to jail for several months even if it is your first DUI offense, so minimize your risks and consult with knowledgeable Virginia criminal defense attorneys like Nabeel Kibria about your situation.
Do not be shy about calling Ervin Kibria Law even if it is your 2nd or subsequent DUI/DWI offense. Our DUI lawyers have handled plenty of cases for clients in such a position. Virginia criminal defense attorneys like Nabeel Kibria recalls the story of DC resident who came to him with her 3rd DUI in less than 4 years. She was facing thousands in fines, mandatory jail time of 30 days, plus potentially one year in prison, with 3 years supervised probation thereafter. With Nabeel’s expertise and negotiation skills, he was able to get her a plea offer reducing the punishment to just 100 hours of community service, a mandatory alcohol program, and 1 year of probation. She served no jail time whatsoever. When she walked out of the courthouse a free woman, she was so grateful she shed tears of joy and proclaimed Nabeel the savior of her life.
Ervin Kibria Law offers free consultations. Give our office a call today!
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Assault is a criminal offense that encompasses both actual physical attack and physical threats of violence (think raising your fists and walking at someone), and thus an “assault” charge can mean many different things depending on the context behind the arrest. Since the actual circumstances behind an assault charge can vary so widely, the punishment imposed for an assault conviction also vary to a similar degree.
Make no mistake, however. An assault charge, no matter how minor, is not something to be taken lightly. The least egregious form of assault—where the offender inflicts no physical injury whatsoever and only commits to the threat of violence—is “merely” a misdemeanor in DC, and carries with it a potential sentence of up to 180 days in prison plus up to $1,000 in fines. Six months locked up for assault frequently means a lost job and a hard time finding another one once the sentence is served, among other troubles.
The classic case of assault, where significant physical injuries are inflicted, is a felony in DC. In the context of DC law, “significant physical injury” means injuries requiring hospitalization or immediate medical attention. If the assault involved significant physical injury to the victim, the offense carries a maximum penalty of 3 years in prison and/or up to $12,500 in fines—a very steep upgrade over misdemeanor assault.
There are even more serious types of assault, such as aggravated assault and assault with a deadly weapon, which carry even harsher penalties. In the assault context, a “deadly weapon” does not include only the obvious tools like a gun or a knife. A boot, a rock, a bar stool, a broken beer bottle—any of these can constitute a “deadly weapon” under the law if it is used in a way that can cause significant bodily injury or death. If your case involves assault with a deadly weapon, the punishment can reach as high as 10 years in prison! Not the type of case you want to leave with just any of the various Washington DC law firms.
Given the seriousness of an assault charge, it should be handled with the counsel of an experienced criminal defense law firm like Ervin Kibria Law. Our attorneys have helped hundreds of clients charged with assault get their charges reduced or dismissed, saving them from months or even years in prison. No matter the severity of the circumstances surrounding an assault charge, we at Ervin Kibria Law stand ready to work your case and bring to bear all the possible defenses available to you based on the facts.
One example of a legal defense that might be brought up against an assault charge is that of self-defense. On the surface, it is a rather simple argument. The other party attacked me first, so I was only retaliating out of self-defense. That seemingly simple argument can be very nuanced depending on the actual facts surrounding the alleged assault, however, and requires careful analysis of both the statutory law and real-world circumstances to bring out the most pertinent points for an individual’s case.
DC criminal defense lawyer Nabeel Kibria recalls working a case involving two men charged with assault after the other party came at them with a knife one night. In theory, it should have been a very simple case of self-defense. However, because the clients retaliated with what appeared to be too much force required for the situation and put the other party into the hospital, the self-defense angle was no longer so clear-cut. Faced with a challenging case, Nabeel was able to put together an eloquent argument for the court based on the clients’ personal backgrounds. The crux of the argument? The two men had recently immigrated from a politically unstable region. To these clients, who had many run-ins with violent people in their daily lives in their home country, this sort of self-defense was a necessary means of survival. Backed by this argument and Nabeel’s aggressive negotiation tactics, the two clients walked away with the assault charges completely dismissed—no penalties were applied at all.
Need help with assault charges in Washington, DC, or Northern Virginia? Call Virginia Criminal Defense Attorneys at Ervin Kibria Law today for a free consultation!
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Washington DC has one of the strictest gun control statutes in the country. You are still allowed to own a properly registered firearm if you are a DC resident, but there are very specific directions under the law on how to transport a gun in public areas while in DC. Notably, you must have the weapon unloaded; the weapon itself must be kept in a locked container, and the ammunition must be kept in a separate container from the gun.
The requirements to actually be able to own and register a firearm is also quite lengthy. The issue mainly boils down to having a record clean of any recent incidents involving violence, drugs, or previous mishandling of guns. It is notable that being deemed a chronic alcoholic or having two or more DUIs on your record within the last 5 years will disqualify you from gun ownership under the DC requirements.
Despite the lengthy list of requirements, do not make the mistake of neglecting to register your gun or guns at all. A single offense of owning an unregistered firearm in DC can already mean up to 1 year in prison and fines up to $2,500. A second or subsequent offense upgrades the offense into a felony and penalties can suddenly spike by up to 5 times, potentially landing you in prison for up to 5 years, with a fine of up to $12,500.
The act of owning ammunition without a properly licensed firearm is also another separate charge the prosecution can tack onto the rap sheet, carrying with it a punishment of up to 1 year in prison and a fine up to $1,000.
As you can see, DC takes gun control very seriously.
The owner of a properly registered firearm can also apply for a concealed carry license in DC. That means you are allowed to carry a firearm concealed upon your person, although DC law, once again, imposes many restrictions. You are not allowed to carry more ammunition than it takes to load the firearm twice, and no more than 20 rounds under any circumstances. There is also a long list of places in DC where it is illegal to carry guns at all, even if you do have a concealed carry license. These places include areas around schools, any stadiums and arenas, any building used by the US Government, the areas around the National Mall and White House, and several other locations. The full list can be found on the DC Metropolitan Police Department website.
Due to the strict nature of Washington DC gun laws, it is very easy to run afoul of them. One major issue that often comes up is that DC does not honor the concealed carry permits of any other state. That means you must have a concealed carry permit issued by the DC Metropolitan Police Department to carry a concealed firearm within the District of Columbia, even if you already have a concealed permit from your home state. This is especially problematic for those who are simply taking a vacation in DC or are merely passing through the District on their way to another location.
DC criminal defense lawyer Nabeel Kibria recalls one of his many successful gun possession defense cases. The client was a gentleman from out of state who was on vacation in DC. He had a firearm in the trunk of his car, which was properly registered and licensed in his home state. When he got situated at his hotel and asked the bellhop to retrieve a piece of luggage from the trunk, the bellhop discovered the gun and immediately called the police. The client was quickly arrested and placed in holding. At 1 AM that same night, Nabeel received a call from the client’s distraught wife and immediately took on the case. By the morning of the next day, the client was out of lockup and free to do as he pleased.
If you are having trouble with gun possession charges in DC, give Ervin Kibria Law a call today to schedule your free consultation!
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