Criminal Defense Attorney
One evening after a hard day at work, you and your friends decide to go out for a few drinks. A few drinks turn into a few too many and soon enough you are intoxicated. You need to get home to your family and make the poor decision to get behind the wheel of your car. You start to swerve on the road and are pulled over by the police before you hurt yourself or someone else. Driving under the influence was not something you make a habit of – in fact, this is your first drunk driving offense. Do you know what happens when you are arrested for a DUI? Do you know the penalties you could be facing? In this article, with the help of a criminal defense attorney Redwood City, CA trusts, we’ll walk through the things you should know about a first-time DUI offense.
What is a DUI?
The definition of a DUI or driving under the influence means that a person is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. More specifically, it means that the driver’s blood alcohol content was above the state’s legal limit.
What to expect after your first DUI
While many states classify a first-time DUI offense as a misdemeanor, do not underestimate the severity of this charge. States take a DUI offense extremely seriously and therefore attach some serious penalties – including jail time, steep fines, or (if there are aggravated circumstances) a felony charge. Penalties can range based on the state but here are a few things you can expect.
You will most likely lose your license. Even for your first offense, a common penalty is getting your license suspended from anywhere from three months up to a year.
You will pay a fine. Fines can vary by state and can come in a wide range. You will pay a fine for the actual charge, plus, if your case goes to trial, you will pay legal and court fees.
There could be unexpected consequences. A DUI charge on your record can have some lasting consequences you may not think of when you are in the middle of your case. A DUI charge will stay on your record and could impact other aspects of your life besides the immediate penalties. Your car insurance premium could potentially increase because they could view you as a high-risk client. Many employers perform criminal background checks on their current employees or future employees. A DUI charge could negatively impact your career – especially if there is any driving involved in your profession.
Because a DUI charge is serious and could reflect a pattern of behavior, the charge will stay on your record. This is because if you were to ever get in trouble for another DUI charge, your penalties would be even more severe.
Driving under the influence is a serious charge and therefore can result in serious penalties, regardless of whether or not you are a first time offender. A drunk driving accident could be life-threatening for both yourself and any other party involved. Be safe and don’t drink and drive.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at the Morales Law Firm for their insight into DUI charges and things you should know about a first time DUI offense.