Driving under the influence (DUI) is a crime of operating or driving a vehicle when you are under the influence of alcohol, a drug, or any other controlled substance. Different states provide different penalties for DUI crimes depending on the severity or circumstances of the case, says Bubbahead.
If it is your first DUI case, it may be charged as a misdemeanour. But, you will face significant penalties if you have been caught drink driving multiple times. In most DUI cases, the following penalties are imposed on the accused person:
- You may get a heavy fine depending on the extent of damage you have done. The fine can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
- You may have to spend time in jail.
- Your licence may get suspended. The duration of the suspension varies from state to state.
- You may have to complete a driver safety course.
- You may have to attend an alcohol abuse program that is designed to help people treat alcohol abuse.
- You may need to pay higher insurance rates for your vehicle after committing the offence. The insurance company may also stop offering you discounts.
The DUI will be added to your driving record, if your blood alcohol limit is more than 0.08. It will be added to your criminal record, too. These records will influence your career, and many other aspects throughout your life. People with a DUI in their records can have a difficult time finding jobs, compared to those whose records are clean.
The length of time that a DUI stays on your record depends on your local state laws. It can vary from 5 to 10 years.
Why do you need a DUI lawyer to handle your DUI case?
Having a professional with knowledge and understanding of the legal procedure will help you avoid penalties and resolve the case fast. A DUI lawyer is a lawyer who specialises in drink driving cases. He can assist you with several legal tasks in different ways, including:
- If you have been arrested for drink driving for the first time, you probably don’t know how the legal process works. If you hire a DUI lawyer, the attorney will handle everything on his own. They can gather the required evidence, and present this evidence to the court. The lawyer can guide you throughout the procedure, and share his opinion about the possible outcomes.
- If you are facing a second or further charge, your penalty will most probably be tougher than the penalty for the first charge. Depending on the severity of your case, your lawyer will provide you with different options. The attorney will guide you and assist you to ensure you select the right option.
- In most cases, when you do not have sufficient evidence to prove your innocence, it is better that you plead guilty. Doing so can help you reduce the charges you face, and possibly help you receive a lighter sentence. Your DUI lawyer will tell you whether you should plead guilty, or go for a trial, depending on the circumstances of your case.