A Driving Under the Influence (DUI) conviction comes with very serious consequences, even for first time offenders. If charged with a DUI, you may face fines, suspension of your license or even jail time. The consequences an offender faces will usually vary by case depending on the circumstances of the case, whether your are a repeat offender and often how the case is managed. If you are facing DUI charges, you should contact a DUI lawyer immediately to ensure that your case is managed properly. They have the knowledge and experience to navigate the legal process and protect your rights. Below are some of the more common consequences of a DUI conviction.
Fines and Penalties
Despite the punishment you are faced with, a DUI conviction come with very hefty fines. These fines and penalties will typically range from $500 to $2,000 for first time offenders. For repeat offenders, the fines are likely to be much higher depending on the number of DUIs received. The court can order an offender to pay up to $500,000 in fines. In addition, you will be faced with other fees, such as the privilege of work release and fees attached to certain punishments.
If you are a repeat offender or if someone was harmed or killed as a result of intoxicated driving, then a jail sentence is probable. If you are a first time offender, then you can likely avoid jail time, but it is still a possibility. The prosecutor or judge may include a jail sentence or house arrest as an option of punishment In such case, a lawyer can help to determine the best course of action. A jail sentence, however, has great consequences on other aspects of your life, including the loss of a job, a record that can hurt your reputation and loss of time with family and loved ones.
Having a DUI conviction on your record can have many negative impacts on your life even once the case has ended. Because you are required to disclose a DUI conviction when applying for jobs, employers may be apprehensive about hiring someone with a criminal record. This is especially true for jobs that require you to operate a company vehicle. DUI convictions also show up in background checks, so having a criminal record can hurt your chances of getting approved for a house or apartment lease. If you have a criminal record, you may want to hire a traffic lawyer Fairfax VA denizens respect to help you.
If someone was hurt or killed because you were driving while intoxicated, then you may face civil charges. In such cases, the victim can file a personal injury lawsuit or the family of a decedent can file a wrongful death lawsuit, both of which could hold you liable for the damages. If negligence can be proven, then you are required to pay compensation for damages resulting from the accident.
The first thing you should do after being charged with a DUI offense is contact an experienced lawyer. Even if you are guilty and there is a strong case against you, you are still entitled to a fair case. A DUI lawyer has the kills and the knowledge to negotiate a plea deal or lesser punishment.
Thanks to our friends and contributors at the Virginia Crime & Traffic Law Firm for their insight into criminal law.