If you have been arrested and charged with DUI, it is important to understand the potential serious penalties a DUI conviction can carry. Even if this is your first DUI offense, a DUI conviction can effect you personally, professionally, and financially. Unlike most other criminal offenses, a DUI requires mandatory sanctions that leave Judges with very little discretion.
Because of the harsh penalties that can result from a DUI conviction, it is important for you to consider consulting with an experienced DUI Attorney.
- Criminal Conviction: even if this is your first criminal offense, a Court is required by law to impose a criminal conviction. This means that you will have a permanent mark on your background that will not be able to be sealed or expunged.
- Probation: the Court is required to impose a period of one-year of supervised probation.
- Fines: the Court has discretion to impose a fine of no less than $500 to a maximum of $1,000 plus court costs and costs of investigation.
- Jail: although not mandatory for a first DUI offense, the Court has the discretion to impose a sentence of up to 6-months in the County Jail and up to 9-months if you had a breath alcohol level in excess of 0.150%.
- Ignition Interlock: if you have a breath alcohol level in excess of 0.150%, the Court is required to order the imposition of the ignition interlock device on any vehicle you routinely operate for a period of six-months.
- Drug and Alcohol Counseling: following completion of your Court ordered DUI classes, you will be required to undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation. If recommended, you will be required to participate in treatment. Failure to do so could result in loss of your driving privileges.
- License Suspension: for a first offense, the Court is required to suspend your driving privileges for a period of six-months up to one-year.
How the Court chooses to impose the above penalties will depend heavily on the facts of your case and your background. Having an experienced DUI Attorney fighting for you will also have an impact on your case, and could mean the difference between a DUI conviction and having your charges reduced or dismissed.
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