Learn More About the Penalties for a DUI Conviction
A DUI charge is a serious matter, so it is important to hire a defense attorney as soon as possible after the arrest. It is a good idea for the accused to hire an attorney even if they’re guilty, as the attorney can help with the final outcome of the case. Before speaking with the attorney, however, the accused may want to learn about some of the penalties they are facing. This can help them when they discuss their options with the attorney or if they’re preparing for the possibility of a conviction.
DUI charges can lead to jail time, even if it’s the first time someone has been arrested. For a first offense, jail time can be between 72 hours and six months, or 12 months if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15% or higher. For a second offense, the accused faces between 30 days and 12 months in jail no matter their BAC. A third or subsequent conviction can lead to two to ten years in jail.
Fines and Court Fees
Fines for a first offense can range up to $2,000 or $4,000 with a BAC above .15%. For a second offense, the accused faces fines of up to $4,000, and a third or subsequent offense could lead to fines of up to $10,000. There are also court fees that will need to be paid on top of the fines, so the accused could end up paying thousands of dollars on top of the other penalties they face.
A conviction will likely lead to a suspended license, during which time the accused cannot drive. For a first offense, this is up to 12 months. For a second, third, or subsequent conviction, the driver’s license could be suspended for up to two years. There is a possibility of a person obtaining a hardship license to drive while their license is suspended, but there are restrictions on where and when they can drive if this is approved.
Drivers convicted of a DUI may be required to have an IID (interlock ignition device) in their vehicle after they are able to drive again. Depending on the number of previous convictions and whether those convictions occurred within the past five years, drivers may need to have an IID installed on their vehicle for up to one year.
Though they’re not legal penalties, a DUI conviction can have an impact on the accused’s life in other ways, as well. They may have higher insurance costs for their vehicle compared to what they paid before the conviction. They may also face repercussions in their personal and professional lives, which can impact their future.
Those who have been arrested and charged with a DUI are facing serious penalties, especially if they have a prior DUI conviction on their record. No matter if they admit to driving after drinking, it is a good idea for the driver to speak with a lawyer right away to learn more about their rights and what options they may have.