A police officer arrested you for driving under the influence. You certainly regret the situation, but that will not keep you from facing severe penalties. To mitigate consequences as much as possible, you need to learn how to find a good DUI lawyer to represent you in your case.
An experienced and reputable DUI lawyer can minimize your sentence and, sometimes, even get your case entirely dismissed. Through effective litigation and negotiation, results you never thought were possible become altogether attainable. To learn more about how to find a good DUI lawyer, submit the contact form on this website.
Driving Under the Influence
All states have laws banning people from operating vehicles while under the influence of alcohol and other drugs. If the police catch you doing so, you risk being charged and convicted of driving under the influence. Commonly, driving under the influence charges are referred to as DUIs.
What constitutes a DUI depends on the state you are driving in. While you may drive with an insignificant amount of alcohol in your system in many states, no state allows you to drive while you are past the legal limit. The legal limit is measured based on your blood alcohol content, or BAC. Usually, the legal limit for driving is a BAC of .08 percent. Though, some states have different limits.
You are likely reading this because you recently got stopped for driving under the influence. Chances are high that you are currently frustrated, angry, and feeling some form of guilt for your actions. Do not let those emotions stop you from defending yourself from the criminal justice system. While you may feel you deserve punishment, you should not incur excessive criminal liability.
With the right DUI attorney behind you, you can reduce the consequences of your actions to the minimum. Do not hesitate to contact someone to represent you immediately. The longer you wait, the worse your potential outcomes are.
What Happens After You Get a DUI Charge?
Following your DUI charge, you can feel a massive amount of shame. You broke the law, but maybe you didn't know you surpassed the legal limit. Is it fair that you face excessive consequences for these actions?
We think not. Instead, we believe you should be allowed the opportunity to rectify the situation by pursuing education and reformation. The courts may disagree if you cannot build a convincing case displaying your desire never to drive drunk again.
The outcomes of a DUI charge vary from state to state, but the criminal justice system usually imposes penalties like fines or jail time. Here are some more things that will happen after you get caught driving under the influence.
You had a few drinks at the bar, and now you need to get home. Understanding this, you decide to drive back to your residence. Unfortunately, the amount you drank put you a bit past the legal limit. Drinking alcohol reduces your capacity for sound judgment, which likely influenced your decision.
While you are on the way home, a police officer pulls you over and begins questioning you. They accuse you of erratic driving, so they now suspect you are under the influence of alcohol. Once you have stopped, they get out of their car to speak with you. You try to convince them that you only had a few drinks, but upon doing so, the officer asks you to step out of your vehicle.
At this point, they ask you for consent to administer a field sobriety test. You then blow into a Breathalyzer device, which measures your blood alcohol content. To your surprise, it registers with a 0.09 percent reading. This is unfortunate because now they have grounds to arrest you. You are placed into the back of the vehicle and arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.
At this point, you are undoubtedly frightened and unsure of what will happen next. When you arrive at the station, they process you by taking photographs, fingerprint scans, and placing you in a jail cell. Now you are beyond frightened—you are anxious and maybe even panicking.
Depending on where you are, you may bail out of jail at this point. Otherwise, you must wait through the night to see a judge. If the judge decides to release you, you finally get to go home.
At the time of your arrest, the police will provide you with a summons that tells you when you are required to appear in court. In court, you will go through criminal proceedings to face driving under the influence charges. During this process, you can deny the charges and plead not guilty. This allows you to fight the charges and potentially have your case dismissed or your sentence reduced.
Generally, it is ideal to deny charges in DUI cases. If you don’t, you put yourself at the whim of the criminal justice system. Rather than pleading guilty, hire a lawyer to help you fight the charges in court. Although they may have substantial evidence, such as a video of you performing poorly on a field sobriety test, you still have a chance to come out on top.
Whether you must deal with the consequences depends on whether you are found guilty or not guilty. This complex process involves identifying whether you were guilty of driving drunk. Sometimes Breathalyzers are inaccurate, and at other times, law enforcement did not correctly uphold your rights during the arrest. In such instances, you can escape the consequences of the officers' negligence and faulty equipment.
Though, if a court hands you a guilty sentence, you will then be told what penalties you are to face. What the penalties are can vary, but a good lawyer can help minimize what the consequences are. That is why you need to find out how to find a good DUI lawyer before getting to this point of the process and not try to fight a DUI without a lawyer.
Consequences for Drunk Driving
If a court convicts you of driving under the influence, one of the primary consequences is suspending your driver's license. Though, there may also be fines and jail time ordered by the court. Here are some more details about the consequences of drunk driving:
Loss of Driver’s License
Even if you do not receive jail time, the state revoking or suspending your license can prevent you from living the quality of life you are accustomed to. Fortunately, people on their first DUI conviction can qualify for a hardship license that allows them to continue driving to work even with a DUI conviction. While this helps, losing your license will severely inhibit your ability to drive legally. For this reason, you never want to skip out on finding a good DUI lawyer. Find someone who will protect your right to drive and eliminate as many consequences as possible.
Fines and Fees
All DUI convictions result in some form of fines or fees paid to the court. If an accident occurred while you were drunk, you might also be subject to punitive damages that go to the victims of the accident. These fines are not an exact amount for every case. For example, in California, penalties range from a minimum of $1,400 to a maximum of $2,600. To learn what fines you risk having to pay, find and reach out to a good DUI lawyer immediately.
Many states impose mandatory jail sentences for DUI convictions—even for a first DUI. While this is an unfortunate truth of the criminal justice system, that does not mean you are required to go to jail every time. With the right lawyer and a compelling case built in your favor, it is possible to avoid jail time in some instances.
Understand that the jail sentence in first-time DUI cases is likely to be minimal—just a few days. Yet, for repeat offenders, longer sentences are almost always mandatory. Other factors, such as prior convictions, can also increase your jail sentence. Fortunately, all is not lost. Lawyers can sometimes help you evade jail sentences if you contact them soon enough.
You will usually need to participate in an alcohol education and assessment program to get your driver's license back. Through such programs, you gain access to a counselor that will treat you for alcohol use disorder if you have the condition. You may be required to complete an alcohol treatment program based on your evaluation. This process ensures that alcohol abuse does not lead to future drunk driving offenses.
Increased Costs for Auto Insurance
If a court has convicted you of a DUI, your insurance rates will skyrocket. This is mainly due to the SR-22 coverage requirement for DUI convicts. SR-22 insurance can easily cost more than twice as much as traditional auto insurance. Therefore, the cost of hiring a lawyer to defend you from a conviction is easily justified. Do not hesitate to reach out to one today by using the contact form here on this page.
You Need a Lawyer to Fight These Charges
DUI charges are a serious matter. If you do not take every step to fight the charges, you risk significant jail time and massive fines. Similarly, the court can revoke your license, impacting your ability to earn an income and pursue educational opportunities. Do not think you can handle the legal process on your own.
Lawmakers designed the criminal justice system to enforce laws without any refrain. Criminal defense lawyers exist to ensure that the system serves justice fairly and appropriately. Therefore, you should hire one to represent you in your claim. While we cannot guarantee that your lawyer can completely mitigate the consequences, having a lawyer on your side will ensure that you have a higher likelihood of incurring minimal effects at sentencing time.
Avoid Hiring a Bad DUI Lawyer
If you want to win your case and minimize your losses, do not hire a bad DUI lawyer. Avoid lawyers who are
only in it for the money. Instead, work with lawyers who pride themselves on their ability to help people who made unfortunate mistakes. This will help you ensure that your attorney works for your best interest rather than their own. Many DUI offenders overlook this necessity, but considering their lawyers' character is the best way to get their desired results. The Chudnovsky Law firm is here to assist you.