Getting arrested for a DUI is sure to get you a lot of fines, court appearances and other fees that come with the aftermath. This means that your financial life is most likely to be impacted negatively along with your social life. This may also affect your relationships, employment and mental health.
What is a DUI?
DUI stands for “Driving under the Influence”. As the name implies, driving under the influence means driving a vehicle under an impaired state. This impairment may come from alcohol or any other drug including the medicinal ones as well. Driving in such an impaired state is a great offense considering you are operating a motor vehicle past a legal limit (applies to alcohol) in which you most likely shouldn’t be behind the wheel.
DUI is a very serious crime and it is also not very uncommon. Many people tend to feel emotionally stressed, especially getting caught after their first DUI. They may feel a lot of mental issues like depression and anxiety due to probable sadness, guilt or shame. However, DUI isn’t a crime that can be ignored based upon those factors considering it puts public safety at risk. There are always rare cases of exception where public welfare can also be one cause for a DUI like for example chasing a kidnapper in an emergency or so on but things like these are better left to professionals rather than scrutinizing public safety while drunk driving.
Here are a few things that happen once you are caught with a DUI offense;
1. Being Arrested:
Being Arrested can be a very frightening experience and many people don’t know how to react when this happens. This can really trigger someone’s anxiety or panic and they may start behaving badly. Arrested for drunk driving suspicion means being taken into a police vehicle and arriving at the nearest jail or police station where you are photographed or fingerprinted. For first-time offenders this can be a very scary experience and they may react unusually.
In some states you have the option to go for the options of a bail or contacting a bail bond to help you bail in case you cannot afford the amount on your own. In many other states, serving a jail term is mandatory. The first time offenders may get jail terms for one or two days but considering the fact that this is jail time, it does have an impact on both your employment and worse on your mental health. In case of repeated offenders they may stay a couple of days longer depending upon their own actions. If there are other aggravated incidents involved with your DUI like accidents or even loss of a life, then the consequences may even multiply.
2. Court hearing
You are usually given the ticket to your summons at court while you are arrested. This summon tells you the date at which you are required to appear at court for the charges of driving under influence. This can be a very embarrassing case to file considering if you deny your charges then your videos of failing the field sobriety test or the videos from the officer’s dashboard camera or even the ones that were recorded in jail, can be brought to court. If you are really under influence, then that could be used as evidence against you in the court room especially if you’re trying to fight the case. However, if you do feel that you were not under influence and were charged falsely then you have every right to plead not guilty.
3. Losing Driver’s License
You are likely to lose your driving license for a specified period of time. This may even happen to first-time offenders in some states. Basically your driving privileges are dramatically affected and you may suffer a great deal of hardship in driving to school or work. Moreover, the guilt and shame that is associated with losing your license is another issue. There are some states that may even suspend your driving license if you refuse to submit a breathalyzer or blood test. You may even end up with a suspended license for refusing a sobriety test even before you go to court. This means that you won’t just be dealing with guilt but may also end up burdening your friends or families when you need to travel from one place to another, unless you are accustomed to using public transport which is another hassle.
4. Paying Fines and Penalties
All intoxication cases involve heavy fines and a DUI may definitely include paying a fine as well. The laws for the minimum and maximum fines may differ across states but they can go worse especially if your DUI includes other circumstances as well. This includes damage to public property or injury to any person or putting someone in danger. Fines may increase keeping those factors under consideration. In some courts you may also be required to pay the court for the costs that were associated with handling your case.
5. Serving Probation Time
On the chance that you are not sentenced to jail, you will atleast get a probation sentence. The probation sentence is set by the judge of your case and you may get jail time in case you fail to comply with it. This is another expense upon your list and may include the monthly fees and cost for your supervision over your probated sentence.
6. Alcohol and Drug Assessment programs
In most states, applying for your driving privileges to be returned to you may require you to go through Alcohol evaluation.In fact, you may even be required to complete an assessment program. A trained counsellor may determine whether or not you have an alcohol disorder based upon your drinking patterns and alcohol consumption. The results of this evaluation may then require an alcohol treatment program that is approved by the court. This is done for your own betterment especially if you have issues with substance abuse.
7. Auto Insurance Charges
The special insurance policy SR-22 insurance is required in most states after you get into a drunk driving conviction. This may be made mandatory for you before you are allowed to drive your vehicle again. The cost of this special insurance is often double or triple of your premiums and you may be required to pay for these costs for up to three years.
8. Ignition Interlock Device
Some states may require you to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in your motor vehicle. This is becoming more and more common and many states are also making it mandatory for first time offenders. This device is in fact quite costly to maintain considering it has monthly monitoring fees that are associated with it. It may not let you ignite your engine until you breathe into it first and assure your sobriety.
Should I Hire a DUI Lawyer?
Calling a DUI lawyer if you are arrested for a DUI offense is in the best of your interests. A DUL lawyer is a professional who is experienced in dealing with the cases related to DUI. Having someone by your side to deal with your case can not only be mentally relieving but also be quite helpful with your case considering they can really help minimize the consequences for you.
Many times, DUI cases may be used by insurance companies as a chance to scam some money out of you. A professional lawyer knows what money is due to pay and what you are not required to do so. Moreover, they can handle all your case documents more effectively and ensure that your case goes smoothly.
Not having enough knowledge about the court processes can impact your case considering you are more likely to say things that you are not supposed to say. These cases may worsen the penalties or fines. A DUI lawyer can ensure and advise you in a manner that can strengthen your case in court.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider getting yourself a DUI lawyer.
- They can help you go through the case processions and advise you regarding the steps that you need to take
- They can help with plea bargains and sentence reductions
- They can ensure that you are not taken advantage of by insurance companies or even the prosecution side that may unfairly accuse you beyond what you have done.
- They can help you deal with the complex deadlines and paperwork of the case
- They can evaluate the evidence better and use their legal knowledge to negotiate with the prosecution side.
In case you have been convicted for a DUI, you should immediately contact an experienced lawyer to ensure that your case doesn’t get worse than it already is. While a DUI lawyer can not completely get rid of your sentence for you but they can help you in its reduction. Moreover they can ensure that your sentence doesn’t affect your employment or credit.
Call a Vista DUI Lawyer today for legal advice on your DUI cases.
Being convicted for a DUI can be a really hard thing to go through. It may have financial circumstances that can readily impact your credit situation. Though, the mental impacts may be worse than the financial ones. For DUI cases, it is better for you to have a DUI lawyer by your side so that you don’t have to deal with the circumstances alone.