Limited Occupational License in the District of Columbia after DUI
A question that arises for DUI lawyers in the District of Columbia is whether a finding of Guilt on a DUI will result in automatic revocation of your DC drivers license. So this issue typical arises when someone with a DC drivers license enters a deferred sentence agreement (diversion) with the Attorney Generals Office in the District of Columbia. Deferred sentencing agreements (DSA) defer sentencing for one year with the condition that you complete certain things, ie. community service, Traffic safety program etc. Deferred sentencing agreements are usually offered to individuals who blow less than .10 on the breath test. However, in some instances a DSA may be offered for higher breath scores as well. It should be noted that out of state driver’s license drivers generally will not be revoked in their jurisdiction for a DSA because there will be no conviction.
18 DCMR 301.1 Mandatory Revocation of your Driver’s license
If you are convicted of DUI in the District of Columbia your license will be suspended for 6 months if you gave a breath or chemical test and 12 months if you refused. The Department of Motor Vehicles will revoke your license and there is absolutely no possible way to get your license reinstated during that time period unless the Mayor or his agent allow it. As the law states, ” The Director shall forthwith revoke the license of any person upon receiving a record of such person’s conviction of any of the following offenses:(a) Operating or being in control of a motor vehicle while the person’s alcohol concentration is 0.08 grams or more either per 100 milliliters of blood or per 210 liters of breath or is 0.10 grams or more per 100 milliliters of urine, or while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or any combination thereof;”
Requesting a Limited Occupation License if found guilty of DUI
If you enter deferred sentencing agreement, there is no conviction because a conviction occurs after sentencing and presumably you will not go to sentencing if you complete the DSA. The District of Columbia Court has interpreted conviction to mean a judgment based on a sentence. See Godfrey v. United States, 454 A.2d 293, 305 (D.C. 1982) If an individual enters a deferred sentencing agreement there will be no conviction because if the person satisfies the terms of the agreement, the government will allow the individual to withdraw his/her guilty plea, and thus never go to sentencing. However, the District of Columbia can still revoke your license because under 18 DCMR 303.1 you will still accumulate enough points (12 points) if you admitted that you committed the offense even though you were not convicted. Pursuant to deferred sentencing agreement you must admit guilt; and therefore, you will accumulate 12 points (DC Traffic Points) for revocation of your license.
You can however, petition the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles for a limited occupational license. If your license was revoked because of a DUI conviction you can not request a limited license pursuant to 18 DCMR 310. However, if you plead guilty to the offense pursuant to a deferred sentencing agreement you may request in writing that the revocation order be modified to allow the issuance or retention of a driver license or privilege on a limited basis. You must demonstrate in your request that it is an extreme hardship for which there is no practical remedy and the safety of the public will not be impaired. In order to show extreme hardship you must state that loss of operating privileges precludes carrying out your business, trade or occupation, and that driving is necessary to support your family. Furthermore, the applicant must show good character, usually by submitting character letters from responsible business people, the employer of the applicant, and other individuals who can attest to your good character. You can not seek an occupational license if revocation is mandatory (such as a conviction for DUI; physical or mental reasons;conviction for operating after suspension; if you accumulated 16 points on your driving record). If you have questions give us a call.
Rollins and Chan Law Firm