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DC Police Union – “ATVs and Dirt Bikes on City Streets: Most Arrests Go Unpunished by the Courts”

dirt bike
Dirt bike accident on H Street, NE in 2014

From a DC Police Union press release:

“The DC Police Union conducted research into the matter in an effort to discover what’s affecting this instability in our community. We gathered information from police databases and arrest records, along with public documents and court records from DC Superior Court. Here’s what we found:

 In the 15 months between January 1, 2014 and May 31, 2015, MPD made 147 Arrests for violations of DC Code §50–2201.04b Operation of all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes.
Considering the department‟s “No-Chase” policy of not pursuing these suspects under any circumstances, officers still make an average of 10 arrests per month. The DC Police Union concurs with the fact that giving chase to these types of illegal vehicles creates a serious risk to citizens, officers, and even the riders themselves. This offense is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail, and a $250 fine. Frankly, the risks associated cannot be justified for what is considered a minor traffic misdemeanor according to the statute. Additionally, the fine for this violation was previously $1,000, until 2013 when the DC Council amended this statute and lowered the amount to $250.

 Of the 147 Arrests made by MPD the breakdown is as follows:
 11 of the arrestees were juveniles.
 42 cases presented to the Office of the Attorney General
were „No-Papered‟, meaning all charges were dropped
against the defendant.
 43 of the cases were papered, but were later dismissed
through diversion, „Nolle Prosequi‟ as part of a plea
agreement to another charge, or want of prosecution.
 33 of the defendants were found guilty.
 18 of the cases are still pending a disposition.

When the juvenile and the pending cases were removed from the equation, 126 cases remained. Of those 126, over one third of them were immediately no-papered by the OAG. Then another third were dismissed though diversion (community service) or for other reasons. The remaining 28% were found guilty of Operating an ATV or Dirt Bike. Ultimately, just 33 of the 147 adults arrested by MPD were found guilty.”

You can read the full release below:


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