The Seriouness of Dui
Driving under the influence is a rapidly growing problem in the United States. Many states have enacted tougher DUI laws to prevent the problem from growing further and to help people understand the serious consequences of driving under the influence. A major problem for many people is that they don’t know the laws or don’t understand how serious DUI is if they are convicted.
A Review of DUI – DUI is a criminal offense in all 50 states. It’s often a misdemeanor offense, but can be a felony under certain conditions. Several prior convictions can mean a felony charge in most states and some states have terms that outline aggravating factors that can result in a misdemeanor charge being elevated to a felony charge. Some of the more prevalent aggravating factors are having an extremely high level of blood alcohol concentration, driving under the influence with a child in the vehicle, or causing property damage or serious bodily injuries while driving under the influence.
Many states have two ways in which a DUI case can be prosecuted. One of these is based on the physical impairment of the arrested individual. In this instance, the prosecutor focuses on trying to prove that you were too impaired to safely operate a vehicle at the time of the arrest. Testimony may come from law enforcement officials and focus on your appearance, performance of sobriety tests, driving behavior, and other factors that may show you should n’t have been driving. The second way is often known as the per se DUI theory. This is where the prosecutor will base his case on the results of chemical testing done at the time of your arrest. If the test results show that your BAC exceeded the state’s legal BAC limit, then the prosecutor can show that your were guilty of DUI even if you didn’t appear to be impaired.
Reviewing Administrative Penalties – In most states, you’ll lose your driving privileges if you are arrested for driving under the influence, even if you are eventually found not guilty of the charge. That doesn’t seem fair, does itc
Some states have an appeals process where you can appeal your suspension in writing and then get a hearing to determine the status of your driving privileges. If you don’t have a qualified, experienced DUI lawyer to represent you during your appeal hearing, you may lose out on the opportunity to get a temporary license that you can use to drive until your trial date. This means you won’t be able to get to work, drive yourself to medical and dental appointments, pick up your kids from school, or do any of your normal daily activities that require driving.
Reviewing Criminal Penalties – Since DUI is a criminal offense, there’s a wide range of criminal penalties available. In most states, these penalties can include jail time, fines, court costs, alcohol and drug education, alcohol treatment, ignition interlock device installation, community service and probation. The sentencing will depend on a variety of factors, including the number of prior convictions, aggravating circumstances present in your case, and other circumstances. If you have a qualified DUI attorney, he can speak on your behalf prior to your sentencing and ask that the court be as lenient as possible. If you have accumulated several convictions, however, it is unlikely that you will be sentenced to anything other than the maximum penalties allowed by law since you have broken the law several times.
Reviewing Benefits of DUI Attorneys – You’ll gain many benefits when working with an attorney who specializes in DUI defense. These benefits include better access to expert witnesses, more specialized knowledge of DUI law, and more experience defending people charged with DUI offenses. Going it alone or working with a public defender or non-specialist lawyer can mean you may not be getting the best possible defense. Choose to work with a DUI attorney and you’ll have a much better chance of winning your case and being able to move on with your life.