Frequently Asked Questions When You Have a DUI

Frequently Asked Questions When You Have a DUI

If you have been charged with a DUI it can be a pretty confusing time.  Most of those charged with DUI have the same questions and concerns.  Here are the most frequently asked questions when you have a DUI.  Having the right information can help you deal with the situation in the best way possible.  Let’s look at the FAQs and try and get some answers.

Will I have to go to court?

Most likely yes, you will have to make at least one court appearance. Some court appearances your lawyer can handle everything for you but if there has been an accident and there is a question of bail then yes you will have to appear.

Will I go to jail?

All DUI charges come with the possibility of a custodial sentence, even for a first-time offender.  It will also depend on the facts surrounding how you were charged and whether this is your first offense or not. Your attorney cannot guarantee that you won’t be sentenced to jail time.  That being said they are there to advocate on your behalf and try and make sure that your sentence is as light as possible.

Am I going to lose my license?

Yes, you will.  At the time of your arrest your license will be suspended until at least you have a court hearing. From there the judge will decide if you can retain your license until the case is settled or not.  If convicted, then you will also lose your license for a period of time and may only be permitted to drive with a locking device in your vehicle.

What are the penalties if I am convicted?

The penalties can be varying and it will depend on the circumstances.  For a first time offender the penalty may be as simple as probation.  If you have previous convictions or if anyone was hurt by your drunk driving then the penalties will be far harsher.  You can face thousands of dollars in fines or serve time in prison  Here is a breakdown of what you can expect in California.

How much does a DUI attorney cost?

The fee for an attorney will depend on the firm you are dealing with, the jurisdiction that you are in, how much time they have to spend on your case and their record for successfully solving DUI cases.  Regardless of their cost a good DUI attorney can mean the difference in whether you go to jail or not.  They are on your side and will do everything in their power to see that you get the best outcome possible.  A good DUI attorney is worth every penny.

What Happens When You Are Charged with a DUI

What Happens When You Are Charged with a DUI

Driving under the influence has been illegal in the US since the early 1900s but the penalties weren’t always as severe as they are today.  Today if you are pulled over and your breath test shows your BAC or Blood Alcohol Concentration of more than 0.08 percent then you are going to be arrested.  Even if you have never been in trouble before you can still face jail time, the law takes DUI charges very seriously.  Let’s look at what happens when you are charged with a DUI and the possible penalties that you can face.

The Penalties of a DUI Conviction

Penalties can vary from state to state and the DUI can be treated  as either a felony or misdemeanor.  Typically the first time you are charged it will be a misdemeanor but if you have previous convictions then you are looking at a felony charge.  If you have been in an accident and there is property damage or you have hurt someone it will also be upgraded to a felony charge.

With a DUI arrest suspension of your license it going to be automatic, the duration will be determined on whether you are convicted or not.  You can also face fines, be forced to do community service and you can even face up to 6 months in jail on your first conviction.  The more convictions you have for DUI the stiffer the penalties are going to be.

The Impact on Your Life

A DUI charge is more than just a minor inconvenience, if you are convicted there can be lifelong repercussions.  First of all you are going to have a criminal record, that can prevent you from getting your dream job or even renting an apartment.  If your job requires driving then having your license suspended can mean losing your job.  Not to mention the financial cost of hiring an attorney and the amount you will have to pay in fines.

Getting Back on Track

While getting a DUI is a serious problem it doesn’t have to ruin the rest of your life.  There are programs available to put your life back together provided you have demonstrated that you have learned your lesson and complied with the court’s judgement.  Most states, including California allow for the expungement of your DUI record.  That means in the future your conviction will be removed from public record and future employers will not have to know you have had a criminal conviction.  At the end of the day it is far better to just not drink and drive.