First Offense DUI Penalties
Ask anyone convicted of a first offense DUI and they will tell you that the penalties are severe. This is true no matter where you live in the United States. DUI laws are constantly changing and in recent years, the penalties for conviction have become even more severe. This is all the more reason to hire an experienced DUI defense attorney.
What Penalties to Expect For A First Offense
While it depends on your state’s specific DUI laws, many states have increased penalties for anyone arrested for DUI who had a minor in their vehicle. The same is true for underage drivers (those under 21) with any amount of alcohol in their system and for those drivers who have a blood alcohol content far above the legal limit of .08%. You can also face enhanced penalties if you were speeding or if you were involved in an accident. These are just some of the situations that can make a first offense DUI conviction even worse.
Even without having any enhanced penalties, you could still face severe penalties. For a first offense DUI, you’re likely to be sentenced to probation, community service and possibly jail. The state may also confiscate your vehicle or may require you to install (at your expense) an ignition interlock system. The judge may also impose expensive fines and sentence you to attend alcohol education classes.
Consequences Beyond The Courtroom
Outside of court, you can expect your insurance rates to skyrocket—that’s if your carrier decides to keep you as a policy holder. And even if the judge doesn’t take your license away, that doesn’t mean that the Department of Motor Vehicles won’t. A DUI conviction will also affect you years after your sentence. If you are applying for a job or school, a DUI conviction will show up on your background check—and that’s not something employers and schools want to see. This is especially true if you are a commercial or school bus driver!
So before you let a DUI charge turn into a DUI conviction, contact an experienced DUI defense attorney. Be sure to give your attorney plenty of time to work on your case by contacting them immediately after your arrest!
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