Anyone caught driving under the influence (DUI) may have committed many other offenses during the incident. A DUI is serious, and the driver may not have only put their own life at risk but many others as well. If you’ve been arrested for DUI, you need to know what you’re up against. Here are five of the consequences of DUI:
1. Criminal Punishments
Once you are convicted, it’s more critical than you may have thought. Any conviction after your first will be seen in a different light and will incur higher sanctions. Charges can involve a multitude of punishments. Each jurisdiction has its own laws, and the severity of the punishment will depend on the actions caused while under the influence. All states are permitted to give out fines, criminal penalties, or jail time. Some states may define the actual crime as a minor offense. However, if the driver has prior convictions for DUI, is driving with a minor in the car, or if the driver causes an accident with injuries, the DUI can be classified as a felony. Misdemeanors usually mean up to one year of jail time. More complicated felonies have a longer sentence, depending on the circumstances and the jurisdiction where they occurred. The courts will issue fines ranging from a couple of hundred to thousands of dollars.
Probation is the most common form of punishment for a first-time DUI. Probation means no jail time, but instead heavy restrictions. The sentence usually lasts around a year or so, with stated requirements. These include reporting straight to the probation officer, ensuring that there’s no alcohol in your system, paying fines, and performing community service. Also, the court takes into account any previous convictions before making its final decision.
2. Driving restrictions
A DUI can change your life when it comes to losing your wheels. First-timers can lose their license for up to a year, depending on how the DUI happened. Multiple convictions will cease the license and use of the road for a year or several years. The vehicle can even be removed from the owner.
3. Employment Issues
Many people may face problems with their current employment. Attorneys understand the outcome of a DUI and the best way to deal with any complications that may arise. A DUI, for instance, can affect anyone who requires driving for their job, or those commuting to work. Employers may look down on you if you have a criminal record. Once a DUI is on record, you may be expected to explain how it happened at an interview, job search, etc. Some employers may be opposed to taking you on as they are deemed irresponsible or your conviction may affect their insurance rates.
4. Auto Insurance
After being convicted of the offense, the auto insurance company may cancel the policy. Finding new insurance may be challenging. If the insurer is willing to cover the driver, the premium will increase by a significant amount.
5. Close Relationships
You don’t often think of the bigger picture, but the impact can go a lot further than a fine or probation. When reality hits home, it’s not easy to accept. Your family and friends may see you in a different light and may choose to distance themselves.
If you’ve been charged with a DUI, the Law Office of K. Lawson Wellington recommends that you retain an attorney to represent you.