U.S. Capitol building

No More Weekends in DUI Cases

Jamison KoehlerDUI and Driving Offenses, Sentencing

Always looking out for the best interests of clients, Michael Bruckheim has come up with a creative way for getting around the new requirement in D.C. that mandatory days of incarceration in DUI cases be served back-to-back.

According to the new law that took effect in August 2012, second-time DUI offenders who are sentenced to a mandatory-minimum period of incarceration must serve their sentences on consecutive days.  In other words, these people can no longer pay their debt to society over weekends.  At least this is the way that D.C. court have been interpreting the following language from the statute:  “The person shall not be released or granted probation, or granted suspension of sentence prior to serving the mandatory-minimum sentence.”

Pointing out that the requirement applies only at the time of sentencing, Bruckheim has suggested that defendants who are found guilty seek to have themselves (in D.C. parlance) “stepped back” on weekends pending sentencing.   Assuming that they are given credit for time-served, the requirement of consecutive days would only apply to unserved portions of the sentence then imposed.  For example:  If a defendant who was sentenced to 10 days had already 8 of those days on weekends prior sentencing, the requirement for consecutive days would only apply to the remaining two days.  And these two days, presumably, could also be served over the weekend, thereby allowing the defendant to continue to work.

Of course, getting a judge to interpret his/her authority this way is only part of the challenge.  The judge also has to want to do it.