No matter where you live, a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction is a very serious matter. Even first-time offenders are looking at time in jail and probation as well as a driver's license suspension.
DUI convictions are actually comprised of two parts: the administrative license suspension and the criminal court case. The administrative part of a DUI arrest is a civil proceeding and deals with your license and driving record. The criminal case deals with penalties, fines, and sentencing.
For an administrative license suspension, your driver’s license may be taken away even before you are found guilty in the criminal case. Whether you take a breath test and fail or refuse to take the test, your license may be suspended. In some jurisdictions this happens on the spot. However, some states allow you a certain number of days (typically 5 to 10) during which you may request an administrative hearing.
As stated above, this administrative hearing is completely separate from your criminal case. If your arrest was based on probable cause, and you refused to take the test or failed it, your license will either be suspended or revoked.
It is important to note that in many states, you may be eligible for a limited driving permit if you meet certain criteria. For example, if this is your first offense, you may be allowed to drive to work, school, and/or alcohol treatment with a permit. However, many states will not allow this for people who refused to take the breath test.
Your criminal proceedings begin soon after your DUI arrest. You will be asked to appear at the arraignment, where you will enter a plea. After this comes the trial and sentencing (if convicted).
The sentence for DUI may include fines, jail time, probation, community service, and mandatory alcohol counseling or treatment. In certain circumstances, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.
While most DUI offenses are misdemeanors, if you have had prior drunk-driving convictions, caused bodily injury, or caused property damage, you may be charged with felony DUI. If you are convicted of DUI, you will be sentenced to prison rather than jail.
In addition to the criminal penalties, you face consequences in your personal life. Your DUI conviction will remain on your record, and may be a deterrent to future employers. You will also have to purchase high-risk auto insurance in able to drive.
If you have recently been charged with DUI, it is important to have an experienced DUI defense attorney on your side.
|ID||Idaho||NH||New Hampshire||WA||Washington State|
|IN||Indiana||NM||New Mexico||WV||West Virginia|
|KY||Kentucky||NY||New York||DC||Washington DC|